War Child (Battlefield Survivor) prestige class

29 March, 2010

Annika the Landsknechtin surveyed the battlefield, covered in blood and broken bodies, the Three Swords Band had fulfilled their contract and held the line but at what cost.  She did not regret surviving but she did feel a momentary twinge of pity for those who did not.  Hoisting her halberd, she moved out onto the field, who knew what might be salvaged from the wreckage.

War Child (Battlefield Survivor)
“War hasn’t killed me yet.”

War is a dirty business, but a necessary one for many.  Many long term soldiers, especially mercenaries, focus their talents on being able to survive both on and off the battlefield.  Those who have been soldiers since a young age, the War Children, often are especially adept at such tricks of survival.  They may not be the winners of every battle but they will be the ones who live to walk (or crawl) off the battlefield.

A War Child is a practical soldier, a survivor.  They are not prone to philosophize or otherwise justify their existence, but they just want to make it to the next sunrise and the next payday.  They usually have little use for those who talk about the glory of war or the honor of battle, they have seen the truth of war.

Role: To survive the most dangerous combats and soldier on.

Alignment: War Children are rarely overly bound by laws beyond that of their mercenary contracts.

Hit Dice: D8

To qualify to become War Child, a character must fulfill the following criteria.
Base Attack Bonus: +4
Base Fortitude Save: +4
Skill: Heal, 2 ranks
Feats: Dodge, Endurance, Iron Will
Special: Cannot have any levels in a spell casting class.  (Optionally, the character may have levels in Sorcerer, with the DM’s permission, as a Sorcerers power comes from within and not an external source.)

Must have been reduced to negative hit points and stabilized without magical aid.

Class Skills
The War Child’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Chr), Heal (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Military) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Soldier)(Wis), Ride (Dex), Survival (Wis) and Swim (Str).

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Level    Base Attack    Fort    Ref    Will    Special
1st        +1        +1    +1    +0    Armor Training, Cling to Life, Survivor’s Health
2nd        +2        +1    +1    +1    Alertness, Uncanny Dodge
3rd        +3        +2    +2    +1    Combat Luck, Mobility, Toughness
4th        +4        +2    +2    +1    Bonus Feat, Mercenary Will
5th        +5        +3    +3    +2    Strikeback, Improved Uncanny Dodge
6th        +6        +3    +3    +2    Evasion, Fleet
7th        +7        +4    +4    +2    Combat Luck (twice a day), Faster Healing
8th        +8        +4    +4    +3    Armor is Life, Bonus Feat
9th        +9        +5    +5    +3    Diehard, War Child’s Dance
10th        +10        +5    +5    +3    Greater Combat Luck

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the War Child prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The War Child gains no new weapon or armor proficiencies.

Armor Training (Ex): the War Child’s levels count as Fighter levels for gaining additional bonuses from the Fighter Armor Training ability.

Cling to Life (Ex): The War Child will not let her life slip away easily, she add her War Child class level to her Constitution to determine if she is dead.  Further, she adds +2 to all Constitution check made to become stable when at negative hit points.

Survivor’s Health (Ex): The War Child has survived many rough campaigns and bad conditions, she add her class level as a circumstance bonus to saves against diseases and half that (rounded up) as a circumstance bonus to saves against all forms of  poison and to resist fatigue or environmental conditions.

Alertness: By this point, the War Child has learned that constant vigilance is the price of survival.  At 2nd level, the War Child gains Alertness as a bonus feat.  If she already has the Alertness feat, the bonuses gained from Alertness are increased by 1.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Starting at 4th level, a War Child can react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She retains her Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if she is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, she still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.

If a War Child  already has uncanny dodge from a different class she automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.

Combat Luck (Su): The last lesson learned is that fortune favors the brave, once per day, the War Child may reroll any die roll she has just made during combat, she must take the result of the second die roll even if it is worse than the first roll.  At 7th level, she may use this ability twice.

Mobility: At this point, the War Child has become attuned to the rhythms of the battlefield and thus adapt at avoiding blows, she gains Mobility as a bonus feat.

Toughness: The War Child is just hard to kill, she gains Toughness as a bonus feat at 3rd level.

Bonus Feat: Versatility is the key to survival, the War Child may select a bonus feat from the list of combat feats at 4th level.  She receives a second bonus feat at 8th level.

Mercenary Will (Ex): The War Child is self-sufficient and knows that keeping her own consul is best and that fear is a killer on the battlefield.  She receives a +1 morale bonus to saves against mind-effecting spells and abilities, raised to +3 against fear and confusion effects.

Strikeback (Ex): Learning by doing and learning by not dying are high on the War Child’s priorities.  After each time a War Child is struck in combat they gain a +1 bonus to weapon damage until the end of the encounter.  This bonus stacks to a maximum bonus equal to the War Child’s class level.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): A War Child of 5th level or higher can no longer be flanked.  This defense denies another rogue the ability to sneak attack the character by flanking her, unless the attacker has at least four more levels than the target does.  If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum level required to flank the character.

Fleet: The War Child knows that speed is vital on the battlefield, she gains Fleet as a bonus feat at this level.  If the War Child already has the Fleet feat, she may choose to gain the Run feat instead.

Evasion (Ex): At 7th level and higher, a War Child can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if wearing light armor or no armor.  If the War Child already has the Evasion Ability, from another class, she gains the Lightning Reflexes feat instead.

Faster Healing (Ex): By this level, the War Child has learned many tricks to improve their own recovery from wounds, as she cannot rely upon magical healing being there for her.  She receives her level in healing per day in addition to any other natural healing she is eligible for.

Armor is Life (Ex): By this point, the War Child is so used to armor, she can virtually ignore it.  She gains Damage Reduction 1/–  whenever she is wearing armor, can sleep in armor without being fatigued and her worn armor only counts half its weight toward encumbrance.

Diehard: Being down, but not out, is a specialty of the War Child.  They receive Diehard as a bonus feat at 9th level.  If the War Child already has the Diehard feat, they gain Toughness instead.

War Child’s Dance (Ex): The War Child has mastered the art of survival, she becomes very hard to put down.  Once per day, when she would be reduced to 0 or fewer hit points by damage in combat (from a weapon or other blow, not a spell or special ability), the War Child can attempt to roll with the damage. To use this ability, the War Child must attempt a Reflex saving throw (DC = damage dealt). If the save succeeds, she takes only half damage from the blow; if it fails, she takes full damage. She must be aware of the attack and able to react to it in order to execute her defensive roll—if she is denied her Dexterity bonus to AC, she cannot use this ability. Since this effect would not normally allow a character to make a Reflex save for half damage, the War Child ’s Evasion ability does not apply.

Greater Combat Luck (Su): The War Child may now make us combat luck up to three times per day.  Further, the War Child receives a +1 Luck bonus on all Initiative and Saving rolls.

Ex-War Child: If a character ever gains levels in a spell casting class, they can no longer retain the self-focus to continue as a War Child, they have found a higher calling.  The ex-War Child cannot advance further in the War Child class and they lose the Cling to Life ability, but retain any other abilities they may have gained from the War Child class.  (Optionally, the DM may allow the War Child may take levels in the Sorcerer class, as the power is internal to themselves and not dependant on an external source, and later continue to advance as a War Child.)

Notes: A prestige class I had a lot of fun designing.  The name is, of course, drawn from the Jethro Tull album/song of the same name


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