Cluster Soldier (3.5e Class)
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A Cluster Soldier is trained as part of a team and his abilities reflect this. Cluster Soldiers encountered in a group can be quite deadly.
Adventures: Cluster Soldiers are trained primarily for various combat missions during times of war. However, when they are not at war, it is not uncommon for a group of Cluster Soldiers to take on jobs as caravan guards or mercenaries.
Characteristics: The Cluster Soldier works best when working with an ally. Due to their military-style training, Cluster Soldiers are trained to work as a unit, anticipating the moves of their allies and working to support each other as a tight-knit team.
Alignment: The military-style training appeals to individuals of a more Lawful mind-set. However, their views on good and evil vary from person to person. A Chaotic alignment doesn’t lend itself to the team-based mechanics of a Cluster Soldier.
Religion: Most Cluster Soldiers believe that a soldier that fights for a cause is a more fierce and passionate soldier and so most Cluster Soldiers venerate one or more of the gods, typically a god of battle or protection. Rarely will a Cluster Soldier have any faith in a Chaotic god.
Background: A person often becomes a cluster soldier when a recruiter is in the area. Younger members of the community (often peasants and commoners) join to earn money for their families or to get out and see the world. A job as a Cluster Soldier is often seen as a good career choice for a young person as it pays well.
Troops of Cluster Soldiers will all dress in the same uniform with their rank identified usually by a small pin or other adornment. If a Cluster Soldier no longer has his own team, he will often adopt the dress style of the individuals with which he lives or adventures. If two Cluster Soldiers from different teams start working together, they will dress alike, taking a bit of the uniform from each other and making a new uniform.
Races: The Clustered Soldiers recruit from most of the humanoid races, however the majority of members are humans or dwarfs. Half-Orc communities will often train teams of Cluster Soldiers as well. Elves and Half-Elves are less likely to be Cluster Soldiers and Halflings and Gnomes rarely become Cluster Soldiers due to the very structured lifestyle. The individuals within a team of Cluster Soldiers, however, hold no preference or prejudice to others and see each member of the team as an equal.
Other Classes: It is very common for a cluster soldier to train in another class, especially if he is no longer with a unit of Cluster Soldiers. Levels in Fighter enhance the martial aspect of the Cluster Soldier and provide some diversity in fighting style. Levels in Rogue will add more skill points and diversify the options of a Cluster Soldier in combat. A Cluster Soldier may multi-class into levels of Cleric or other Divine Casting to gain some curative magic on the battle field. Cluster Soldiers rarely multi-class into arcane casting classes.
Role: A Cluster Soldier will always take the role of a melee combatant, especially when fighting alongside another. They are front line troops and their ability to fight as a team makes them a worthy force.
Game Rule Information
Cluster Soldiers have the following game statistics:
Abilities: Strength is important for the Cluster Soldier because it directly affects his ability as a melee combatant. A good Dexterity is important to help with the mobility and armour class of the Cluster Soldier.
Alignment: Any non-chaotic
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+0||Attached Ally 1, Heightened Initiative|
|7th||+7/+2||+5||+5||+2||Fast movement (+10 ft.), Support +2|
|8th||+8/+3||+6||+6||+2||Empathic Link, Teamwork +2|
|11th||+11/+6/+1||+7||+7||+3||Attached Ally 2, Support +3|
|14th||+14/+9/+4||+9||+9||+4||Dual Charge, Teamwork +3|
|17th||+17/+12/+7/+2||+10||+10||+5||Attach Ally 3|
|18th||+18/+13/+8/+3||+11||+11||+6||Huge Sense of Loss|
|19th||+19/+14/+9/+4||+11||+11||+6||Mental Link, Support +5|
|20th||+20/+15/+10/+5||+12||+12||+6||Unbreakable Support, Teamwork +4|
Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level; ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the Cluster Soldier:
Weapon Proficiency: A Cluster Soldier is proficient with all simple weapons, all light martial weapons, and rapiers. They are proficient with light armour and light shields.
Attached Ally (Ex): A Cluster Soldier separated from other Cluster Soldiers can form a bond with an ally or close friend. The Cluster Soldier chooses a willing ally with which he forms the attachment. The Cluster Soldier and the ally must spend three days together sharing meals, training, conversations, and observing mannerisms. During this time, they cannot be separated for more than an hour a day and never be more than a quarter of a mile apart. After these three days, the ally counts as a Cluster Soldier for the purpose of determining the bonuses from the various class abilities of the Cluster Soldier. The Bonded Ally receives half of any bonus (round down, minimum +1) the Cluster Soldier receives. If the ally dies or spends more than 24-hours out of contact with the Cluster Soldier, the ability is ended and the bonuses are lost, however the bond can be reformed (taking three days). A Cluster Soldier can only bond with one other person in this way.
Heightened Initiative (Ex): A Cluster Soldier gains the benefit of the Improved Initiative feat (+4 bonus to initiative) as long as there is another Cluster Soldier within 30 feet of him when combat starts.
Teamwork (Ex): At 2nd level a Cluster Soldier gets a +1 morale bonus to all attack rolls for every other Cluster Soldier that is conscious and in combat within 30 feet of him to a maximum of +1. This maximum increases for every six levels gained beyond 2nd (+2 at 8th, +3 at 14th, +4 at 20th) The Cluster Soldier must have line of sight and line of effect to each other Cluster Soldier within range to count them for the bonus.
Support (Ex): At 3rd level a Cluster Soldier gets a +1 dodge bonus to AC for every other Cluster Soldier that is conscious and in combat within 30 feet of him to a maximum of +1. This bonus is lost whenever the Cluster Soldier would be denied his dexterity bonus to AC (like when flat-footed or attacked by an unseen attacker). The maximum bonus increases for every four levels gained beyond 3rd (+2 at 7th, +3 at 11th, +4 at 15th, and +5 at 19th). The Cluster Soldier must have line of sight and line of effect to each other Cluster Soldier within range to count them for the bonus.
Heightened Reflexes (Ex): At 5th level a Cluster Soldier gains the benefit of the Lightning Reflexes feat during combat (even if he doesn’t normally qualify for it) as long as there is another Cluster Soldier within 30 feet.
Empathic Link (Su): When a Cluster Soldier reaches 8th level he awakens the ability to sense the emotions of the other Cluster Soldiers within 30 feet of him, getting a general sense of their feelings. This allows a Cluster Soldier to retain the benefits of his class abilities even if he doesn't have line of sight to the other Cluster Soldiers. A Cluster Soldier gains a +1 morale bonus to Will saves against fear effects while in combat as long as there is another Cluster Soldier (or a Bonded Ally) within 30 feet. Something that would block line of effect will also block this ability. If this ability is suppressed (by an anti-magic field, for example) the Cluster Soldier will need to have line of sight and line of effect for any other class abilities to work.
Stronger Support (Ex): At 9th level, a Cluster Soldier gains a +2 morale bonus to all Will saves while in combat as long as another Cluster Soldier is within 30 feet.
Fearless (Ex): At 10th level, a Cluster Soldier becomes immune to all fear effects while in combat as long as another Cluster Soldier is within 30 feet. A Bonded Ally gains the full benefit of this ability as well.
Attached Ally 2 (Ex): At 11th level the Cluster Soldier can bond to a second ally.
Powerful Support (Ex): At 12th level, a Cluster Soldier gains a +2 morale bonus to Fortitude saves while in combat as long as another Cluster Soldier is within 30 feet.
Greater Empathy (Su): At 13th level, the range of a Cluster Soldiers Empathic Link increases to 60 feet. Any class ability that can be maintained by the Empathic Link ability can now be used to a range of 60 feet.
Dual Charge (Ex): At 14th level, a Cluster Soldier that begins his turn adjacent to another Cluster Soldier can delay his initiative so that the two can charge with one another. There must be a clear path for both Soldiers to charge side by side. A single attack roll is made and the better attack modifier of the two is used to determine if the attack hits. If it does hit, each Soldier rolls damage separately as if he had struck a critical hit (even if the target is immune to critical hits). The damage is then added together to a single total and applied to the target. This damage is considered to be from a single attack (so damage reduction is applied only to the total). If the attack roll would be a critical hit, increase the multiplier appropriately (see the rules for multiplying multipliers in PHB). This ability can only be used once per combat encounter.
Huge Sense of Loss (Su): Upon attaining 18th level, the Empathic Link of a Cluster Soldier grows more intense. Whenever a Cluster Soldier within the range of the Empathic Link ability falls in combat (drops to -1 or lower hit points), the Cluster Soldier becomes empowered by a desire to avenge his ally. He gains the effects of the Rage Spell. This lasts for a number of rounds equal to one-half of the Cluster Soldiers class level or until the encounter is over. If the fallen ally is cured, or otherwise brought back above -1 hit points, and rejoins combat, the effects of this ability end as soon as that ally comes within the range of the Empathic Link ability.
Mental Link (Su): At 19th level, the Cluster Soldier can communicate telepathically with any other Cluster Soldier within range of the Empathic Link ability during a battle. The two Cluster Soldiers must share a language to communicate in this fashion. This ability allows the Cluster Soldier to communicate with lower level Cluster Soldiers, but does not allow the lower level Soldiers to communicate among themselves.
Unbreakable Support (Su): At 20th level, the Cluster Soldier has mastered fighting on the battle field with his allies. The bonus to AC from Support is no longer lost if the Cluster Soldier would be denied his dexterity bonus to AC. The Cluster Solider cannot be flanked as long as there is another Cluster Soldier within the range of the Empathic Link ability. Also, the Cluster Soldier gains a +2 insight bonus to Reflex saves while in battle as long as there is another Cluster Soldier within the range of the Empathic Link ability.
Ex Cluster Soldiers
A Cluster Soldier can leave his team at any time of his own free will. He will always be welcomed back into his old team or a new team as long as he has not changed to a chaotic alignment. Cluster Soldiers that have changed to a chaotic alignment no longer gain any of the benefits from the Cluster Soldier class. If they change alignments back to a non-chaotic alignment, they can rejoin and continue to advance as a Cluster Soldier. If an ex-Cluster Soldier does something that becomes well-known that advances the causes of Chaos, it will be difficult for them to convince a Cluster Soldier team to accept them back into their ranks.
Matar Huinne- according to legend, the original group of so-called 'cluster soldiers' were The Company of the Matar Huinne, an elite group of mercenaries, possibly trained by Helm himself. About forty years ago, a new group of elite mercenaries reclaimed the name. The Bards sing of these men, but no one has ever seen one. They are more mysterious than the Harpers.