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    Default The Mercenary - A Career of Combat

    For lack of a better title, I'm tentatively choosing the name "Mercenary" for this class. Synergist, Abettor, Accomplice, and Champion were all close seconds.
    This class is designed to be a useful addition to any group, forming better connections with its allies as it levels up, while also providing some useful strategies of its own. While primarily a martial class, the Mercenary possesses some useful social skills, and an adaptability in the field.

    Mercenary

    Role: Martial combat, usually protecting or assisting his allies.

    Alignment: Any

    Starting Gold: As fighter

    Hit Die: d10

    Class Skills

    The Mercenary's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Knowledge (Nobility) (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str)

    Skill Ranks per Level: (4 + Int modifier)

    Mercenary
    Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
    1st
    +1
    +2
    +2
    +0
    Prowess, Tactics
    2nd
    +2
    +3
    +3
    +0
    Bonus feat
    3rd
    +3
    +3
    +3
    +1
    Tactics
    4th
    +4
    +4
    +4
    +1
    Prowess
    5th
    +5
    +4
    +4
    +1
    Tactics
    6th
    +6/+1
    +5
    +5
    +2
    Bonus feat
    7th
    +7/+2
    +5
    +5
    +2
    Tactics
    8th
    +8/+3
    +6
    +6
    +2
    Prowess
    9th
    +9/+4
    +6
    +6
    +3
    Tactics
    10th
    +10/+5
    +7
    +7
    +3
    Bonus feat
    11th
    +11/+6/+1
    +7
    +7
    +3
    Tactics
    12th
    +12/+7/+2
    +8
    +8
    +4
    Prowess
    13th
    +13/+8/+3
    +8
    +8
    +4
    Tactics
    14th
    +14/+9/+4
    +9
    +9
    +4
    Bonus feat
    15th
    +15/+10/+5
    +9
    +9
    +5
    Tactics
    16th
    +16/+11/+6/+1
    +10
    +10
    +5
    Prowess
    17th
    +17/+12/+7/+2
    +10
    +10
    +5
    Tactics
    18th
    +18/+13/+8/+3
    +11
    +11
    +6
    Bonus feat
    19th
    +19/+14/+9/+4
    +11
    +11
    +6
    Tactics
    20th
    +20/+15/+10/+5
    +12
    +12
    +6
    Apex of Prowess

    Class Features

    All of the following are class features of the Mercenary.

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The Mercenary is proficient with all simple weapons, with light armor, and with shields (but not tower shields).

    Prowess: The Mercenary is a highly refined utilitarian warrior, whose training and experiences grow and expand over time. Each prowess grants benefits for his future development.
    At 1st level the Mercenary gains his first prowess, chosen from the list below. He gains an additional prowess at 4th level, and every 4 levels thereafter. He may not choose the same prowess more than once. He gains the initial passive effects of every prowess he possesses, and may choose his 20th level apex of prowess from among any prowess he possesses, regardless of rank. He measures his aptitude in each prowess with ranks in profession skills (such as profession [soldier] or profession [strategist]), gaining professional benefits when he reaches a minimum number of ranks. Some of the Mercenary's tactics require a minimum number of ranks in certain professions.
    Since the professional abilities a prowess grants are based on skill ranks rather than class level, the Mercenary can continue to gain additional abilities while taking levels in another class.
    Spoiler: Prowesses
    Show
    Soldier: This prowess focuses on group combat, simple strategies, and training with weapons. The Mercenary with this prowess is proficient with medium armor and with all martial weapons. He adds all combat feats to his list of possible bonus feats, though he must still meet the normal prerequisites for these feats.
    Apex: The Mercenary gains either the weapon mastery or armor mastery ability of a fighter.
    Spoiler: Professional Benefits
    Show

    • With 4 ranks in profession [soldier], the Mercenary no longer provokes attacks of opportunity immediately when attempting combat maneuvers. Rather, such attacks of opportunity are provoked after the maneuver is resolved, provided the opponent is still capable of making such an attack.
    • At 8 ranks, the Mercenary may begin selecting fighter-only feats as though he had an effective fighter level equal to his base-attack-bonus + his intelligence modifier. He also gains one combat feat, for which he meets the prerequisites. He may retrain this feat each day with one hour's worth of effort.
    • At 12 ranks, the Mercenary improves the bonus he grants or receives with the aid another action by two. This bonus stacks with other increases to the effectiveness of the aid another action, and stacks with itself if multiple allies aid the Mercenary at the same time.
    • At 16 ranks, the Mercenary has learned to minimize the effort required to fight in uncommon ways. When two weapon fighting, fighting defensively, or using a feat like rapid shot or power attack, he reduces the attack roll penalty by two. This reduction increases by 1 for each additional fighting style he uses, to a maximum reduction equal to his intelligence modifier +2.


    Strategist: Preferring brain over brawn, this prowess focuses on forethought, teamwork, and complex strategies. The Mercenary with this prowess is proficient with all bows, crossbows, and polearms (as the fighter weapon categories). He adds all teamwork feats to his list of possible bonus feats, though he must still meet all prerequisites for these feats.
    Apex: The Mercenary gains augury as an extraordinary ability usable as a swift action a number of times per day equal to 3 + his intelligence modifier. He uses his ranks in profession [strategist] instead of a caster level to determine the success of his augury ability.
    Spoiler: Professional Benefits
    Show

    • With 4 ranks in profession [strategist], the Mercenary grasps the core essence of teamwork, and can communicate with his allies in uncanny new ways. Such communication usually includes gestures, codes, garbled pieces of obscure languages. The DC for an enemy to interpret the meaning of such communication is increased by 20, though the Mercenary and his allies are always intuitively aware of the message. Communicating in this way is a swift action that requires the recipient(s) of the message to be able to hear or see the speaker. They may convey only short sentences and instructions in this way, making this form of communication irrelevant for many complicated or intricate tasks.
    • At 8 ranks, the Mercenary gains the solo tactics ability of a 3rd level inquisitor. Additionally, the Mercenary is treated as if he possessed the same teamwork feats as his allies for the purpose of determining whether the allies receive a bonus from their teamwork feats. The Mercenary's positioning and actions must still meet the prerequisites listed in the teamwork feat for his allies to receive the listed bonus.
    • At 12 ranks, the Mercenary may aid another as a swift action. Additionally, the flanking bonus provided to the Mercenary and his allies when flanking an opponent together is increased by 1, plus 1 for every other ally adjacent to the opponent after the first two, to a maximum flanking bonus of +10.
    • At 16 ranks, the Mercenary is constantly prepared and on the lookout for danger. He gains a bonus on initiative checks equal to his wisdom score, and he always acts in a surprise round. Additionally, he may take a full turn's worth of actions on his turn in a surprise round.


    Guardian: This prowess focuses on the defense of the Mercenary and his allies, sacrificing offensive power to bolster safety and protection for his group. The Mercenary with this prowess is proficient with all armor and shields, including tower shields. He adds all feats from the ranger's weapon and shield style to his list of bonus feats, and he selects those feats as if he were a ranger of the same level.
    Apex: The Mercenary gains damage reduction 3/-- and the aura of protection ability of a cleric with the protection domain. The duration and strength of this aura is based on the Mercenary's ranks in profession [guardian] rather than on his level.
    Spoiler: Professional Benefits
    Show

    • With 4 ranks in profession [guardian], the Mercenary can protect allies from attacks and shield them from harm. The Mercenary can assume a defensive stance as a move action once per round. While in this stance, allies adjacent to the Mercenary gain partial cover (+2 AC) against all attacks. The Mercenary gains this benefit only if he is using a heavy shield or tower shield.
    • At 8 ranks, the Mercenary can intervene when an attack would possibly strike an adjacent ally, taking the force of the attack himself. He uses this ability as an immediate action before the attack roll is made, and then compares the attack roll against his own AC to see if the attack deals damage. If the attack hits him, damage is dealt to the Mercenary normally, though no dexterity-based or precision damage is added. The attack can still result in a critical hit, however.
    • At 12 ranks, the Mercenary can improve his defensive stance with a swift action once per round, in addition to the move action he spends to maintain his defensive stance. While in the improved stance, allies adjacent to the Mercenary gain normal cover (+4 AC) against all attacks, and the square(s) occupied by the Mercenary block line of effect and grant total cover where applicable. The Mercenary himself does not gain these benefits, though he does gain the benefits of the ferocity special ability while in this stance.
    • At 16 ranks, the Mercenary gains considerable bonuses when fighting cautiously. When using the fight defensively or total defense action, or the combat expertise feat, he gains damage reduction equal to the AC bonus he gains. This DR stacks with DR from other sources, such as the armor mastery ability, or a barbarian's damage reduction.


    Synergist: Learning to make the most of his allies' spells, the Mercenary combines borrowed magic with his own martial skill to bring deadly new abilities to the table. The Mercenary adds use magic device and spellcraft to his list of class skills. He adds arcane strike and all metamagic feats to his bonus feat list. He has an effective caster level equal to his ranks in profession [synergist], though this does not stack with any caster levels from other classes.
    Apex: The Mercenary gains one spell slot per day, which he prepares and casts as a magus. The maximum level of the spell he can prepare is equal to 3 + his intelligence modifier, and he may cast this spell only once before needing to rest again. He gains a spellbook from which to prepare this spell, though he can copy and prepare spells from any list. This is considered an arcane spell when he casts it, with a DC based on the spell's level and the Mercenary's intelligence modifier. His caster level for this spell is equal to his ranks in profession [synergist].
    Spoiler: Professional Benefits
    Show

    • With 4 ranks in profession [synergist], the Mercenary can siphon elemental power from the vicinity to improve his attacks. When a spell or ability is used which deals energy damage (fire, cold, electric, or acid) to the Mercenary or a square or target within his reach, he may spend an immediate action to draw some of that magic into his weapon. His weapon then deals an extra 1d6 damage of the appropriate energy type for a number of rounds equal to his intelligence modifier + 1/4 his ranks in profession [synergist].
    • At 8 ranks, spells cast on the Mercenary last longer than those cast on his other allies. Whenever an ally casts a spell with a duration longer than 1 round on the Mercenary, that spell's duration is increased by 50%. The Mercenary may have only one spell lengthened in this way at a time. If another spell is cast on him while he already possesses a lengthened spell, then the second spell cannot gain this benefit, and will have its normal duration.
    • At 12 ranks, the Mercenary can alter magic cast upon himself to protect his allies as well. When the Mercenary is the target of a spell which would grant him a bonus to AC, CMD, saves, damage reduction, or fast healing, he may choose to make that spell affect an area instead. If he does so, the spell's effect becomes a 20 ft emanation, centered on himself. A spell modified in this way lasts for only 1 round per 3 caster levels, though the defensive benefits of the spell are imparted to all the Mercenary's allies within the emanation. If the Mercenary is knocked unconscious or killed during this time, the spells duration immediately ends. Affects which increase a spell's duration (such as the extend spell metamagic feat or his earlier professional benefit) apply to this modified duration when the Mercenary uses this ability.
    • At 16 ranks, the Mercenary can use the aid another action to apply metamagic to an ally's spell up to 3 times per day. To do so, he must first ready the action and inform his ally of his intentions. He must remain adjacent to the ally at the time of casting, and he must succeed a profession [synergist] check with a difficulty equal to 10 + the DC of the ally's spell. If he succeeds, he may select one metamagic feat to apply to that spell, so long as the feat does not increase the spell's level by more than 1. For every additional 5 by which he beats the DC, he may apply a metamagic feat one level stronger. A spell modified in this way does not consume a higher level spell slot. The Mercenary is exhausted for a number of rounds equal to the level of the spell his ally cast, regardless of the outcome of his check.


    Champion: This prowess focuses on intimidation and rallying cries as a way to manipulate morale for the benefit of the Mercenary and his allies. The Mercenary with this prowess is proficient with all armor and with all weapons from a single fighter weapon group of his choice. He also adds the following feats to his list of bonus feats: antagonize, bullying blow, cornugon smash, dazzling display, dreadful carnage, enforcer, fearsome finish, flagbearer, intimidating prowess, leadership, persuasive, and taunt. He ignores normal level and skill rank prerequisites for these feats, using ranks in profession [champion] instead. He must still meet other prerequisites, such as other feats, class features, or ability score minimums, though not any prerequisites based on race.
    Apex: The Mercenary gains the aura of courage paladin ability, as well as the aura of cowardice ability of an antipaladin. The range of both of these auras is increased to 30 feet.
    Spoiler: Professional Benefits
    Show

    • With 4 ranks in profession [champion], the Mercenary gains a rallying cry, usable a number of times per day equal to 3 + his charisma modifier. Using this ability is a swift action, and grants all allies within 30 feet the benefits of a heroism spell for 3 rounds. Allies must be able to hear the Mercenary when he uses this rallying cry.
    • At 8 ranks, the Mercenary can use his ranks in profession [champion] in place of his ranks in intimidate when trying to demoralize enemies. When he successfully demoralizes an enemy, he can choose to increase the duration by 2 rounds, or to increase the severity of the fear effect by 1 step for the first round, from shaken to frightened, or from frightened to cowered.
    • At 12 ranks, the Mercenary's rallying cry also grants himself and his allies the benefits of a haste spell for 1 round, and the benefits of a bard's inspire greatness performance for 3 rounds. Allies need only be within 30 feet and able to hear the Mercenary to gain these benefits.
    • At 16 ranks, the Mercenary and his allies can shake off fear effects almost instantly. Whenever the Mercenary or an ally succumbs to a fear effect or intimidation check, they receive a will save against the effect at the end of the turn in which the effect succeeded. The DC of this save is equal to the DC of the initial effect or the opponent's intimidation bonus, whichever is more relevant to the source of the initial fear effect. This ability functions only while the Mercenary is conscious, and only affects allies within 30 feet of the Mercenary. Each ally can use this benefit once per day, though they regain this daily use if they become subject to the Mercenary's rallying cry.


    Gladiator: The favorite prowess of lone wolves and black sheep, this Mercenary's focus is on individual strength, self-reliance, and desperate hopes. The Mercenary with this prowess is proficient with all martial weapons, and with one exotic weapon of his choice. He adds all combat feats to his bonus feat list, and he has an effective fighter level equal to his ranks in profession [gladiator] for the purpose of qualifying for fighter-only feats.
    Apex: The Mercenary becomes a rampaging frenzy on the battlefield. He may combine a full-attack action with a single move, taking his attacks at any point along his movement. The Mercenary also increases his critical multiplier by 1 against opponents who've already taken damage from a critical hit or sneak attack and who have not yet healed.
    Spoiler: Professional Benefits
    Show

    • With 4 ranks in profession [gladiator], the Mercenary is learning to choose which attacks to avoid, and which ones he can safely risk. As an immediate action after an opponent threatens a critical hit against him, the Mercenary can give himself a +5 dodge bonus to AC against the critical confirmation roll. After the confirmation roll has been resolved, the Mercenary then takes a -2 penalty to AC until the start of his next turn.
    • At 8 ranks, the Mercenary has learned the bloody art of killing his opponents quickly. He gains a bonus on initiative checks equal to 1/4 his base attack bonus, and he deals 4 additional damage with any attacks he makes at the end of a charge. This bonus damage is increased by 50% if he is using a two handed melee weapon, and is multiplied on a critical hit.
    • At 12 ranks, the Mercenary's ability to survive and retaliate is nearly unparalleled. While fighting defensively or using the combat expertise feat, any melee attacks made against the Mercenary which fail to hit him provoke an attack of opportunity from him after they are resolved.
    • At 16 ranks, the Mercenary's offensive power reaches dangerous new extremes. When making a full-attack action or charge, the Mercenary gains an additional attack at his highest base attack bonus, though he takes a -2 penalty on all attacks in that round if he does so. Additionally, after the Mercenary resolves an attack against an opponent, that opponent takes a -1 penalty to AC until the start of their next turn. This penalty stacks with itself after multiple attacks, to a maximum AC penalty of -5. If the Mercenary's opponent is no longer within reach, or the Mercenary falls unconscious or makes an attack against a different opponent, then this penalty immediately ends.


    Berserker: Much like the gladiator and the champion, the berserker is a terrifying opponent. He combines brutality and rage, rushing headlong into battle against any odds. The Mercenary with this prowess is proficient with all martial weapons and with medium armor. He may select rage powers in place of bonus feats, as though he were a barbarian of the same level, and he adds extra rage, furious finish, intimidating prowess, raging brutality, raging hurler, raging throw, and raging vitality to his list of bonus feats, though he must meet the prerequisites for these feats as normal.
    Apex: The Mercenary doubles all morale bonuses to his physical ability scores, attack rolls, and weapon damage rolls.
    Spoiler: Professional Benefits
    Show

    • With 4 ranks in profession [berserker], the Mercenary gains the rage class feature of a barbarian, for a number of rounds per day equal to his hit dice.
    • At 8 ranks, the Mercenary can apply his anger in short bursts to inflict maximum damage. When the Mercenary threatens a critical, he may spend an immediate action and a round of rage to automatically confirm that critical hit, and increase the critical multiplier for that attack by 1.
    • At 12 ranks, the Mercenary's wrath becomes unstoppable. While raging, the Mercenary gains a bonus on all saves equal to 1/2 his strength modifier. While raging, if he fails a save that would cause him to suffer a fear effect or become dazed, exhausted, fascinated, fatigued, nauseated, paralyzed, sickened, staggered, or stunned, he may spend an additional round of rage each turn to ignore that effect for 1 round.
    • At 16 ranks, the Mercenary's frightening aggression reaches new heights. When he begins a rage, he may choose to gain the normal benefits (+4 strength, +4 constitution, +2 will saves, -2 AC) or he may enter a more dangerous frenzy, gaining an additional +4 to strength, though he does not gain the constitution bonus, and his AC penalty is increased to 4. This decision is constant through the entire rage; if he wishes to enter a normal rage, he must first end the frenzy, and then begin a normal rage.


    Assassin: Whether attacking foes from great distances with powerful bows, or choking enemies with close-range garrotes, this prowess focuses on dispatching enemies before they become a threat for the Mercenary's friends. The Mercenary with this prowess is proficient with all martial light weapons, as well as all martial bows and crossbows. He may select rogue talents and ninja tricks instead of bonus feats, as though he were a ninja of the same level. He must still meet the prerequisites for these talents and tricks as normal.
    Apex: The Mercenary can become invisible as a swift action, for a number of rounds per day equal to his hit dice. These rounds do not need to be consecutive.
    Spoiler: Professional Benefits
    Show

    • With 4 ranks in profession [assassin], the Mercenary gains the sneak attack ability of a first level rogue, dealing an additional 1d6 damage when his opponent is denied their dexterity bonus or when he is flanking the opponent.
    • At 8 ranks, the Mercenary has learned to make the most of stealth when moving about the battlefield. He reduces the penalty to stealth checks while moving at full speed by 5. In addition, he increases the miss chance from partial concealment to 25%, and from total concealment to 60%.
    • At 12 ranks, the Mercenary's finesse with deadly attacks improves. Whenever he deals sneak attack damage, the Mercenary deals additional damage equal to his ranks in profession [assassin]. This damage is increased by 50% if the attack is also a critical hit.
    • At 16 ranks, the Mercenary can finish off doomed opponents with ease. He may coup de grace as a standard action if the victim of the attack is sleeping, cowering, dazed, disabled, dying, exhausted, flat-footed, helpless, paralyzed, petrified, pinned, or stunned. When he coup de grace's an opponent, he deals sneak attack damage as well, even if the attack would not normally be qualified for a sneak attack. He can use a ranged weapon to make coup de grace attempts within the first range increment.


    Ascetic: Last to engage and last to fall, the Mercenary with this prowess focuses on physical perfection and harmony between body and spirit. The Mercenary with this prowess is proficient with all monk weapons, and he gains the improved unarmed strike feat for free. He adds the monk's list of bonus feats to his own bonus feat list, selecting them as if he were a monk of the same level.
    Apex: The Mercenary gains 10 additional health, a +1 bonus to attack rolls and saves, a +1 dodge bonus to AC, and one additional tactic or bonus feat of his choosing.
    Spoiler: Professional Benefits
    Show

    • With 4 ranks in profession [ascetic], the Mercenary learns powerful martial arts which allow him to strike quickly, and with greater force. He gains two weapon fighting as a bonus feat, though he may only use this feat with unarmed strikes and monk weapons. Additionally, his unarmed strikes deal damage as a monk whose level is equal to 1/2 his ranks in profession [ascetic], and he always adds his full strength bonus to damage with his unarmed strikes.
    • At 8 ranks, the Mercenary learns that peace can often overcome violence, and he gains the skills to prove it to others. While using the total defense action, the Mercenary can make attacks of opportunity as normal, though he must use these attacks to perform combat maneuvers. He does not provoke attacks of opportunity when making combat maneuvers in this way, and he adds his wisdom or intelligence modifier, whichever is greater, to his CMB.
    • At 12 ranks, the Mercenary's body is as refined as steel and as durable as stone. The Mercenary's unarmed strikes are considered both manufactured and natural weapons for the purpose of feats and spells. The Mercenary also gains a hardness of 8, and a +4 bonus on fortitude saves against effects that don't affect objects. He loses this hardness and fortitude bonus while he is fatigued, exhausted, or carrying more than a light load.
    • At 16 ranks, the Mercenary's body is perfect in nearly every way. He may make an additional attack in a full-attack action at his highest base attack bonus, though he takes a -2 penalty on all attack rolls for one round if he does so. He gains a +2 dodge bonus to AC when fighting defensively, using the total defense action, or the combat expertise feat. He increases his base movement speed by 10 feet, and he may take an additional 5 foot step as a swift action each round. He loses these benefits while he is fatigued, exhausted, or carrying more than a light load.


    Huntsman: At home in the wilderness and pursuing prey with ease, the Mercenary with this prowess is adept at stealth, reconnaissance, and exploration. He is proficient with all martial ranged weapons, as well as exotic bows and crossbows. He adds all feats from the ranger's archery and crossbows combat styles to his list of bonus feats, selecting them as though he were a ranger with a level equal to his ranks in profession [huntsman].
    Apex: The Mercenary can use scrying as an extraordinary ability once per day. The maximum range on this ability is 1 mile, and functions only within the type of terrain the Mercenary is in. Thus, he cannot scry on a subject in a nearby farm while he is within a city. Scrying in this way takes 1 minute, and lasts for as long as the Mercenary concentrates on his subject. This ability ignores spell resistance and has no save for the creature you target, who is not aware of your observation.
    Spoiler: Professional Benefits
    Show

    • With 4 ranks in profession [huntsman], the Mercenary gains the favored terrain ability of a 3rd level ranger. Furthermore, he gains the nimble moves feat while within his favored terrain.
    • At 8 ranks, the Mercenary can choose to use his ranks in profession [huntsman] rather than survival when making checks to track a creature. Bonuses to survival checks for this purpose apply to profession [huntsman] as well. If he spends a swift action to focus and aim, the distance at which he can apply precision damage (such as from sneak attack or the point-blank-shot feat) increases to half his weapon's first range interval on his next attack in that turn.
    • At 12 ranks, the Mercenary doubles the bonus he receives from his original favored terrain. He may also spend one day in study and evaluation to acclimate himself to an unfamiliar area, treating it as favored terrain until he leaves that environment. He gains the benefits of the nimble moves feat, as well as the acrobatic steps feat while within any of his favored terrains.
    • At 16 ranks, the Mercenary gains blindsense 120 feet while within any of his favored terrains. Furthermore, he gains a dodge bonus to AC and CMD and a competence bonus to attack rolls and CMB equal to 2 + his intelligence or wisdom modifier (whichever is higher) while the Mercenary and his opponent are within his favored terrain.




    Tactics: At every odd level, including first, the Mercenary gains a new tactic he can employ to better his odds of winning in combat. He chooses his tactics from the following list, though he may not choose the same tactic more than once, unless otherwise specified. Many tactics have a minimum rank requirement in a certain profession, though this does not mean that the Mercenary need have selected that profession as one of his prowesses.
    Spoiler: Tactics
    Show

    • Extra Bonus Feat: The Mercenary gains another bonus feat, chosen from his list of available bonus feats, which he currently meets the prerequisites for. He may select this tactic only once, and must be at least 3rd level before doing so.
    • Mercenary's Edge: The Mercenary deals an extra point of damage when he successfully hits an opponent with a weapon. He may select this tactic more than once, and the bonus stacks with itself. This damage is multiplied on a critical hit, and is increased by 50% if the Mercenary is making a melee attack with a two-handed weapon.
    • Mercenary's Bulwark: The Mercenary intercepts attacks with his armor and shield, gaining a +1 bonus to AC. He may select this tactic more than once, and the bonus stacks with itself. He only gains this bonus when using a shield or wearing medium or heavy armor. He loses this bonus against touch attacks, or while denied his dexterity bonus to AC.
    • Mercenary's Faith: The Mercenary is bolstered by knowledge of his previous victories and successes. He gains a +1 morale bonus to all saves. He may select this tactic more than once, and the bonus stacks with itself, though not with other morale bonuses. He loses this bonus for one minute after he fails a save of any kind, or after he is reduced to less than 1 health.
    • Mercenary's Vitality: The Mercenary gains +2 hit points and he heals 1 additional hit point when he receives magical healing. He may select this tactic more than once, and the bonuses stack with themselves.
    • Mercenary's Determination: The Mercenary gains a +1 bonus on saves against fear, charm, and compulsion effects. Once per day, after failing a save against one of these effects, the Mercenary can attempt a re-roll as an immediate action, or as a move action on his next turn. He makes this reroll at the same DC as the original save, and if he succeeds then the effect immediately ends as though he'd made his initial save. He may select this tactic more than once, increasing his bonus and gaining an additional reroll each time. He may attempt only one such reroll per round.
    • Opportunist's Dodge: Once per day, the Mercenary can choose to not provoke an attack of opportunity when he performs an action which would normally provoke an attack from his enemies. He may select this tactic more than once, negating an additional attack per day each time.
    • Opportunistic Strike: The Mercenary gains an additional attack of opportunity in each round. He may select this tactic more than once, gaining an additional attack per round each time.
    • Improved Aid: When using the aid another action, the Mercenary increases the benefit he gives his ally by 1. He must have at least 4 ranks in profession [soldier, strategist, guardian, or ascetic] before selecting this ability, and he may select it up to one time per 4 ranks he possesses between those professions. The benefit stacks with itself, and with any other increase to the effectiveness of the aid another action, to a maximum aid another bonus of +10 from a single creature.
    • Shared Strategy: The Mercenary can spend 1 hour per day demonstrating a teamwork feat he possesses to a group of allies. Those allies are then considered to have that teamwork feat for 8 hours. He may give this demonstration once per day, and each demonstration affects a number of allies equal to 1 + his intelligence modifier. He must have at least 5 ranks in profession [strategist] before selecting this tactic. He may demonstrate one additional teamwork feat per 6 ranks he possesses beyond 5.
    • Extra Rallying Cry: The Mercenary can use his rallying cry one additional time per day. He must have the rallying cry ability and at least 5 ranks in profession [champion] before selecting this tactic. He may select this tactic multiple times, up to once per 5 ranks he possesses.
    • Unrelenting Charge: When the Mercenary or any ally within 30 feet of uses the charge action, that creature gains a bonus to attack and damage rolls equal to +1 per 10 feet they have moved in that charge. If the ally has a morale bonus to attack or damage rolls, that bonus is doubled during the charge. The Mercenary must have at least 10 ranks in profession [strategist, champion, gladiator, or berserker] before selecting this tactic.
    • Preparedness: The Mercenary can spend a standard action to gain 3 additional swift or immediate actions in that round. He cannot use these additional actions to cast spells or use spell-like abilities.
    • Widened Stance: When performing the total defense action, using the combat expertise feat, or fighting defensively, the Mercenary may choose an adjacent square which he is considered to occupy when determining line of sight, cover, and other bonuses such as flanking. He may make his attacks from either square, and may be attacked by opponents able to reach either square. He must have at least 5 ranks in profession [soldier, strategist, guardian, or gladiator] before selecting this tactic.
    • Defensive Siphon: When siphoning elemental damage from a spell or effect that would harm him, the Mercenary gains energy resistance 5 against the damage that attack deals. If the effect deals more than one type of damage, he only gains energy resistance against one type. This energy resistance last for 3 rounds, and applies to the attack being siphoned. The Mercenary must have 5 ranks in profession [synergist] and have chosen the synergist prowess before selecting this tactic.
    • Enduring Magic: Allied spells cast on the Mercenary last 50% longer than their normal duration. This bonus stacks with other increases to the duration of a spell, such as the extended spell metamagic feat. The Mercenary must have at least 10 ranks in profession [synergist] before selecting this tactic, and he loses this benefit if the spell is cast on him while he is cowering, dazed, exhausted, fascinated, fatigued, frightened, panicked, sleeping, or stunned.
    • Arcane Aegis: Any allied spell cast on the Mercenary which creates an emanation or aura around him has its radius increased by 10 feet. The Mercenary must have at least 10 ranks in profession [strategist, guardian, or synergist] before selecting this tactic. He may select this tactic more than once, up to once every 5 ranks he possesses in a single suitable profession, and the benefit stacks with itself.
    • Startling Surge: When the Mercenary uses his rallying cry in combat, all creatures and allies must re-roll their initiative, which may re-arrange their turn order. The Mercenary and all allies within 60 feet gain a +4 bonus on this roll, and all enemies within 60 feet of the Mercenary take a 4 penalty to this roll. The Mercenary must have the rallying cry ability and at least 5 ranks in profession [soldier, strategist, champion, gladiator, or berserker] before selecting this tactic.
    • Sudden Maneuver: The Mercenary may attempt a dirty trick, disarm, trip, steal, or sunder combat maneuver as an immediate action after hitting an opponent with a melee weapon. He must have at least 5 ranks in profession [soldier, strategist, guardian, gladiator, or ascetic] before selecting this tactic. He still incurs normal penalties and provokes attacks of opportunity when using this maneuver, and using this action counts as an attack of opportunity.
    • Improved Sneak Attack: The Mercenary deals an additional 1d6 points of sneak attack damage. He must have the sneak attack ability and at least 5 ranks in profession [assassin] before selecting this tactic. He may select this tactic no more than one time per 5 ranks he possesses in profession [assassin].
    • Mighty Fist: The Mercenary's unarmed strikes deal damage as though he was one size larger than he is. He must have at least 5 ranks in profession [ascetic, soldier, gladiator, or berserker] before selecting this tactic.
    • Steelskin: The Mercenary's hardness or damage reduction increases by 2. He must have a damage reduction or hardness value to select this tactic. He loses the benefits of this tactic while he is exhausted or carrying more than a medium load. He may select this tactic up to twice, applying the increase to a different ability (hardness or damage reduction) each time.
    • Adamantine Flesh: The Mercenary's natural weapons are considered adamantine for the purpose of overcoming hardness and damage reduction. In addition, his hardness increases to 20. He must have at least 18 ranks in profession [ascetic] and he must have the steelskin tactic before selecting this one. He loses the benefits of this tactic while he is fatigued, exhausted, or carrying more than a light load.
    • Swift Tracker: The Mercenary can move at his normal speed while using survival or profession [huntsman] to follow tracks without taking the normal -5 penalty. He takes only a -10 penalty (instead of the normal -20) when moving at up to twice normal speed while tracking. He must have at least 9 ranks in profession [huntsman or assassin] before selecting this tactic.
    • Trailblazer: The Mercenary can choose to leave a path behind him as he moves to allow his allies to follow safely and quickly. Using this ability requires a swift action immediately prior to making movement of any sort. Allies may then ignore up to 30 feet of difficult terrain along this path, and gain a +4 competence bonus to AC against attacks of opportunity from opponents that threatened the Mercenary along this path. Allies must be able to see and hear the Mercenary through at least half of his total movement to benefit from this ability. The Mercenary must have at least 9 ranks in profession [huntsman, strategist, or soldier] before selecting this tactic.



    Apex of Prowess: Upon reaching 20th level, the Mercenary gains an impressive and powerful new ability. He may select this ability from among the prowesses he has selected. Once made, this decision is permanent unless the Mercenary spends one day in training and isolation, at which point he may change to a different apex.
    Spoiler: Prowesses and their Apexes
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    • Soldier: The Mercenary gains either the weapon mastery or armor mastery ability of a fighter.
    • Strategist: The Mercenary gains augury as an extraordinary ability usable as a swift action a number of times per day equal to 3 + his intelligence modifier. He uses his ranks in profession [strategist] instead of a caster level to determine the success of his augury ability.
    • Guardian: The Mercenary gains damage reduction 3/-- and the aura of protection ability of a cleric with the protection domain. The duration and strength of this aura is based on the Mercenary's ranks in profession [guardian] rather than on his level.
    • Synergist: The Mercenary gains one spell slot per day, which he prepares and casts as a magus. The maximum level of the spell he can prepare is equal to 3 + his intelligence modifier, and he may cast this spell only once before needing to rest again. He gains a spellbook from which to prepare this spell, though he can copy and prepare spells from any list. This is considered an arcane spell when he casts it, with a DC based on the spell's level and the Mercenary's intelligence modifier. His caster level for this spell is equal to his ranks in profession [synergist].
    • Champion: The Mercenary gains the aura of courage paladin ability, as well as the aura of cowardice ability of an antipaladin. The range of both of these auras is increased to 30 feet.
    • Gladiator: The Mercenary becomes a rampaging frenzy on the battlefield. He may combine a full-attack action with a single move, taking his attacks at any point along his movement. The Mercenary also increases his critical multiplier by 1 against opponents who've already taken damage from a critical hit or sneak attack and who have not yet healed.
    • Berserker: The Mercenary doubles all morale bonuses to his physical ability scores, attack rolls, and weapon damage rolls.
    • Assassin: The Mercenary can become invisible as a swift action, for a number of rounds per day equal to his hit dice. These rounds do not need to be consecutive.
    • Ascetic: The Mercenary gains 10 additional health, a +1 bonus to attack rolls and saves, a +1 dodge bonus to AC, and one additional tactic or bonus feat of his choosing.
    • Huntsman: The Mercenary can use scrying as an extraordinary ability once per day. The maximum range on this ability is 1 mile, and functions only within the type of terrain the Mercenary is in. Thus, he cannot scry on a subject in a nearby farm while he is within a city. Scrying in this way takes 1 minute, and lasts for as long as the Mercenary concentrates on his subject. This ability ignores spell resistance and has no save for the creature you target, who is not aware of your observation.

    Last edited by gr8artist; 2014-05-20 at 04:46 AM.
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    Default Re: Mercenary (WIP, Reviews/opinions needed)

    Personally I'm loving this class. It does a much better job of covering a leader role than most other classes I've found, including cavalier and inquisitor.
    A few things I think need a little tweaking:

    Guardian Apex- The few Pathfinder classes that come with DR never have it below 10 at 20th level (except maybe Barbarian). The Guardian only gets a 3/-. Because of the "/-", boost it to about a 5 or so to make it more equal with the core classes.

    Tactics- You have more times to choose a Tactic than there are Tactics in the list. I'm guessing this just means you need someone to start throwing out some ideas (more than happy to help)

    Assassin/Berserker/Gladiator/Ascetic- I'm assuming these classes are still being worked on, but are you up for suggestions on these yet?

    Class Saves- As this class seems to be similar to a fighter archetype, are you sure that the Reflex save should be a "good" save? The fighter only has Fort as a "good" save.
    It's only cheating if you get caught. Otherwise, it's just good tactics...

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    Default Re: Mercenary (WIP, Reviews/opinions needed)

    Thanks for the feedback!

    I debated between Reflex and Will saves, and decided to go with Reflex because he wasn't a tank, but rather an all-around scrapper. I know his abilities and features are a little stronger than average, but everyone's always complaining about the low-tier weakness of mundane classes. I think giving him a buff to the save no one really considers that useful to be a fair addition. Do you have any other reason you think it's out of place?

    I kept the Guardian's DR lower than 5 because that's what the Soldier gets if he chooses the Armor Mastery ability. I suppose if I gave the Soldier a buff, I could bring the Guardian's DR up to 5. The Guardian's biggest perk is meant to be the defensive benefits his allies gain, not himself. Additionally, he gains DR when using a defensive fighting style if he has enough ranks in that profession.

    Yes, I need ideas for more tactics. I can think of a few, but right now I'm focusing on the Prowesses.

    And yes, I'm still working on the other Prowesses. Any suggestions for abilities would be exceptionally welcome
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    Default Re: Mercenary (WIP, Reviews/opinions needed)

    I've now added a LOT more tactics, and finished all the Prowesses.
    I'd like to add one more prowess, though I'm not sure what it would be. 9 just seems like a weird place to leave off.
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    Default Re: Mercenary (WIP, Reviews/opinions needed)

    The mercenary's class skills are
    ...?
    is that int based?

    So quick stuff

    Prowess: The Mercenary is a highly refined utilitarian warrior, whose training and experiences grow and expand over time. At 1st level the Mercenary gains his first prowess, chosen from the list below. He gains an additional prowess at 4th level, and every 4 levels thereafter. He may not choose the same prowess more than once, and each prowess grants additional benefits for his future development.
    Good. I would say "He may not choose the same prowess more than once." What follows from that has nothing to do with what came before. In that block you were talking about the fluff and leveling mechanics. What follows is the crunch of Prowesses.

    He measures his aptitude in each prowess with ranks in profession skills (such as profession [soldier] or profession [strategist]), gaining professional benefits from his prowess when he reaches a minimum number of ranks. However, he does gain the initial passive effects of every prowess he possesses, and may choose his 20th level apex of prowess from among any prowess he possesses, regardless of rank. Some of the Mercenary's tactics require a minimum number of ranks in certain prowesses.
    Since the professional abilities a prowess grants are based on skill ranks rather than class level, the Mercenary can continue to gain additional abilities while taking levels in another class.
    That is a fairly messy bit.

    A quick re-arrangement would have "However, he does gain the initial passive effects of every prowess he possesses" at the start. It feels tacked on there in the middle of the section.



    So a quick look at the Prowess Apex benefits: they are kinda meh... except the ascetic one: an extra hd is kinda problematic. Suddenly the character crossed the threshold into epic, and things get wonky
    They get better if they can be changed more often than that.

    Also: no need to list the Apex ability twice; it is just busywork and increases the chances of something getting missed as you copy things back and forth.
    Last edited by Guigarci; 2014-05-08 at 08:14 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun View Post
    Player: I'll use a classic ploy. "Help! Guards! He's having a seizure!"
    DM: You're the only one in the prison.
    Player: I'm very convincing.
    DM: And there are no guards.
    Player: But there's masonry.
    DM: It's not even animate, let alone sentient.
    Player: That's ok. I'll take the penalty.

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    Default Re: Mercenary (WIP, Reviews/opinions needed)

    Additional Tactics:

    Mercenary's Courage: The Mercenary gains a +4 bonus against fear effects. This stacks with any other bonuses the Mercenary has. Once per day, the Mercenary may re-roll a save against any fear effect. This is done as a free action on his turn, which is completed before his other actions.

    Mercenary's Devotion: The Mercenary gains a +4 bonus against charm and compulsion effects. This stacks with any other bonuses the Mercenary has. Once per day, the Mercenary may re-roll a save against any char or compulsion effect. This is done as a free action on his turn, which is completed before his other actions.

    Mercenary's Charge: The Mercenary gains an additional +2 bonus to attack when charging, and can ignore one attack of opportunity against him when doing so.
    It's only cheating if you get caught. Otherwise, it's just good tactics...

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    Default Re: Mercenary (WIP, Reviews/opinions needed)

    Added Mercenary's Determination and Opportunist's Dodge, based on the tactics suggested.

    Tried to clarify some ability texts, per the suggestions.
    Added class skills, which I'd forgotten.
    Changed the Ascetic apex to avoid 21st HD trouble, and changed the apex retrain time to 1 day.
    And I chose to list them in two places to make them easier to find if checking out apex options. Of the two places, I'm not sure where I'd rather have them listed.

    Any suggestions on a new Prowess?
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    Default Re: Mercenary (WIP, Reviews/opinions needed)

    For an additional prowess I'm thinking along the lines of a hunter/scout/recon expert. It's closer to a ranger than rogue, making it different from the Assassin. The idea is the Mercenary tracks down his targets, marks the enemies the land around them and reports to the group for in-depth tactical planning (so best paired with strategist prowess). The class abilities focus on tracking, stealth and recon. The recon is similar to the Assassin ability, death attack, where the Mercenary studies the land for a certain amount a time and gets a bonus according to his profession ranks. This is given to allies within a 30ft radius. I'm not much good on specifics but what do you think so far?
    It's only cheating if you get caught. Otherwise, it's just good tactics...

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    Default Re: Mercenary (WIP, Reviews/opinions needed)

    Added the Hunstman prowess, as well as two new tactics to help the huntsman out.
    It's not exactly what you described, but I'm still debating some of the mechanics you mentioned.
    I also buffed the assassin a little bit, giving him some ranged options.

    EDIT: Suggestions for favored class options?
    Last edited by gr8artist; 2014-05-13 at 12:50 PM.
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    Default Re: Mercenary (WIP, Reviews/opinions needed)

    hmmm
    +1/3 bonus to your profession skills, if you have more than 3 professions you end up coming ahead...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deophaun View Post
    Player: I'll use a classic ploy. "Help! Guards! He's having a seizure!"
    DM: You're the only one in the prison.
    Player: I'm very convincing.
    DM: And there are no guards.
    Player: But there's masonry.
    DM: It's not even animate, let alone sentient.
    Player: That's ok. I'll take the penalty.

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    Default Re: Mercenary (WIP, Reviews/opinions needed)

    Hmm, except it specifies "rank" in the required profession, so the ability would have to be clarified to give you 1/3 of a rank, rather than a 1/3 bonus.
    But, I'm already concerned at the number of abilities an intelligent mercenary would possess at level 16.
    5 Prowesses gained at levels 1, 4, 8, 12, and 16.
    Assuming he's spending 1/2 his base ranks, plus his FCB, and has at least a 14 intelligence (or a 12 int human), then he gets 4 abilities from each prowess.
    20 fairly good abilities at level 16, in addition to 8 tactics and 4 bonus feats, and that's without a headband of intelligence giving him max ranks in 1-3 professions.
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    Default Re: Mercenary (WIP, Reviews/opinions needed)

    At 12 ranks, the Mercenary doubles the bonus he receives from his original favored terrain. He may also spend one day in exploration and reconnaissance to acclimate himself to an unfamiliar area, treating it as favored terrain until he leaves that environment. He gains the benefits of the nimble moves feat, as well as the acrobatic steps feat while within any of his favored terrains.
    The "one day of exploration" makes the idea a little ambiguous and hard to follow. Let's say the Mercenary is in a dungeon without a favored terrain "Underground", how will he "explore" the area for a day? And if he is wandering through a forest, is there a chance for a random encounter? I'm thinking closer to meditating in the terrain for one day without interruption. That way it still takes time, but doesn't have him wandering around aimlessly which is just begging for the DM to throw something at him.
    It's only cheating if you get caught. Otherwise, it's just good tactics...

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    Default Re: Mercenary (WIP, Reviews/opinions needed)

    Changed "Exploration and Reconnaissance" to "Study and Evaluation"

    Thanks for the tip, I hadn't thought of that.
    Does the huntsman cover the role you were thinking of, or should I change him a little?
    Last edited by gr8artist; 2014-05-13 at 03:54 PM.
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    Default Re: Mercenary (WIP, Reviews/opinions needed)

    It covers it perfectly. All I was really set on was the reconnaissance ability, as that was what really set him apart from the other prowesses.
    It's only cheating if you get caught. Otherwise, it's just good tactics...

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    Default Re: The Mercenary - A Career of Combat

    Excellent.
    Now, for the vast majority of his levels, he's cycling through the same perks and abilities.
    Prowess > Tactic > Bonus Feat > Tactic > (repeat)
    Should I throw in some other abilities to make that a little more interesting, or do you think the professional benefits he gains at every 4th level are enough?
    Also, along those lines, what are your thoughts on the number of ranks required to gain each new benefit? 4/8/12/16 coincides with some other PF stuff, like Power Attack and Combat Expertise.

    Also, as it currently stands, he can continue to get professional perks when he multiclasses, as the abilities are based only on having the prowess and the required number of skill ranks. If he multiclasses at 5th level, he'll have 2 prowesses which he can continue to gain abilities from as long as he keeps sinking skill ranks into them.
    Is that an OK mechanic?

    Lastly, do all the Prowesses seem to be equally viable/valuable/interesting. It kinda' defeats the purpose if one or two are better than the rest, and every Mercenary ends up having the same job.
    Last edited by gr8artist; 2014-05-15 at 01:41 PM.
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    Default Re: The Mercenary - A Career of Combat

    I can see prowess being easily abused for even a 1 level dip... Especially to add some utility to a rogue or another skill monkey. A separate point system that scales more with the class level itself would kinda make more sense to me.

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    Default Re: The Mercenary - A Career of Combat

    Quote Originally Posted by Axier View Post
    I can see prowess being easily abused for even a 1 level dip... Especially to add some utility to a rogue or another skill monkey. A separate point system that scales more with the class level itself would kinda make more sense to me.
    I dunno, I like it as it is. Really awesome class, btw.

    Speaking of using it as a 1 level dip, though, the tactic that exchanges a standard action for 3 swift or immediate actions could be useful for a caster focused on breaking action economy with quickened spells (quickened is swift, without any other limits, in PF, isn't it? Or am I wrong on that?).

    But really, this class is pretty awesome.
    A new Hero on a new quest.Villains both old and new. Allies and Enemies of all kinds.

    A dual-wielding Hero with an idealistic heart. An ancient, magical, sentient sword with a sarcastic and snide sense of humor whose spirit takes the form of a girl. A conflicted mercenary with split loyalties. A former assassin with the powers of a Sage. It is a new tale of destiny in the land of Hyrule. The Legend of Zelda: Sword of Souls! (my fanfic)

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    Default Re: The Mercenary - A Career of Combat

    Yes, you can get some pretty good perks for a 1 level dip and an investiture of 16 skill ranks.
    Some proficiencies, a good HD, 2 good saves, an ability of varying strength, and 4 progressively stronger abilities.
    Should I include a line that says you cannot gain professional benefits which require more ranks than double your class level? That would mean you need a 2 level dip to get the first PA, a 4 level dip for the second, a 6 level "dip" for the third, and an 8 level dip if you want to really get the most out of your prowess.

    Yes, I shall add a "don't cast spells" clause to the standard conversion tactic.
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