Talk:Blood Soldier (3.5e Prestige Class)

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The blood soldier is more meant as an NPC prestige class than a character class, although it should work as a character class, too. The idea is to have a character class that is accessible to "average" characters at levels 6-10. These characters are soldiers, so I decided to focus on footsoldier style weapons: polearms. You get some nice perks with the weapon, making it more flexible in a combat situation. The whole thing with armor spikes is to play up the whole "bad guy" aspect.

One aspect that I wanted to avoid was the "weird requirements" problems. I find that those prerequisites lead to very weird character designs. Since this class doesnt gain amazing powers, I can skip all that.

I do turn a dump stat into an advantage. Evil SHOULD be ugly, and be rewarded for it.

--Dmilewski 05:58, 24 March 2006 (MST)

Removed Die Hard, Iron Will, and Endurance as pre-reqs. Made the class too expensive. The class did not build on these feats. --Dmilewski 08:02, 8 December 2006 (MST)

Fort Save[edit]

Is it supposed to be a "good" save? —Sledged 11:21, 23 October 2006 (MDT)

Corrected "Fort" with a good progression using Blackguard/Dwarven Defender/Dualist as a reference. --Dmilewski 12:52, 23 October 2006 (MDT)

Rating - 5/10[edit]

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is abysmal, 5 is adequate, and 10 is damned inspired and well implemented, I rate this entry: a 5. I think its balance is fine, but the class never really achieves a decent focus. I don't think its a memorable villain class. Call it the curse of blandness. The whole thing really needed to go back to the drawing table, which I did, and which resulted in the Villainous Fighter class. (I am far happier with THAT class.) --Dmilewski 08:00, 8 December 2006 (MST)

Good concept but…[edit]

I like very much the concept (“Insurance for afterlife”) but the implementation is… really disappointing. I was thinking of a Prestige Class for bargaining the best position in afterlife and what I discover really is Joe Fighter.

The concept opens up such a lot of opportunity; It deserves much better than that.
David Latapie ( | @) 18:23, 19 March 2007 (MDT)

Maybe we can make something out of this. What were you thinking that this class could be? Talk about that a little more. What are you seeing that I missed?--Dmilewski 21:23, 19 March 2007 (MDT)
I go to sleep so just an idea for now: pact with a devil (souls of the killed will count for you when you'll trespass—the more souls, te better, maybe two other options for demon and yugoloth), a haven in the Lower Planes that this PrC slowly builds for itself… Well, consider what you will do as a player, to ensure yourself a confortable retirement. This PrC would do the same for its afterdeath. That may require looking at a diabolist-like PrC or even make this class a minor spellcaster. Diplomacy and Bluff may help too.
David Latapie ( | @) 21:39, 19 March 2007 (MDT)
This sounds like a new XP-like system based on actions/kills. That's a complicated beast. That's not bad, but does involve more administrivia (which is generally cumbersome in play). The trick is how to make those fun rules that play out well for a fighter style character. Hmm...I'll think about some of these things.--Dmilewski 05:01, 20 March 2007 (MDT)
New XP-like system? No, I was not considering anything like this at all. Some feats would suffice, especially considering it is a NPC class. Let us say levels are gained by killing people and so are feats, like Minor Infernal Favour and so on. For sure, this class won't have any advantage during his lifetime from this—this is not the point. That is why this is a limited prestige classe. By taking some levels in this class, a Fighter voluntarily cripples himself in his lifetime, to better prepare himself for afterlife. Exactly like retirement. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by David Latapie (talkcontribs) 06:29, 20 March 2007 (MST). Please sign your posts!

A Few Things to Pick At[edit]

I saw this on the recent changelist and figured that I would like to chime in too.

Charisma measures a character’s force of personality, persuasiveness, personal magnetism, ability to
lead, and physical attractiveness. This ability represents actual strength of personality, not 
merely how one is perceived by others in a social setting.

I know this tears part of the class concept apart, but really -- low charisma means you are not respected at all. I don't see how having people not respect you would make you more feared. The bonus to intimidate seems cool, but really makes no sense. Adding to saving throws is fine however. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Aarnott (talkcontribs) 09:31, 20 March 2007 (MST). Please sign your posts!

Good point. If we decide to make the Blood Soldier a future high-ranking soldier in his afterlife, he must certainly be able to deal with devils, and high Charisma would make sense (not necessarily insanely high as for a Paladin, but still high).
David Latapie ( | @) 10:52, 20 March 2007 (MDT)

Since you can decrease charisma with a stat point can you also get into negative charisma scores?

I'm not sure where I read this, but a PrC apparently should not require an ability score (though it can require feats that do). I'm not really sure if that is valid though -- and this class could be an exception anyways because of the theme.

Then there is aura of courage. I don't get why it has this ability. It is an ability for leaders to inspire troops. If the PrC is to have a cha less than 10, it will not likely be the "leader" type.

I also think the class is a bit scattered. It has the low charisma theme (which disappears at 2nd level), the polearm theme (which is well done), and an armor spike theme.

Those are my thoughts, but I'm really not sure how to improve it without drastically changing the class. --Aarnott 10:31, 20 March 2007 (MDT)

I believe it has to be changed, indeed. Or the introductory test has to.
David Latapie ( | @) 10:52, 20 March 2007 (MDT)
With everything else I've had to work on (like the SRD) I never came back to this prestige class. If you folks want to completely rewrite the entire idea, by all means, go for it. The negative charisma thing comes from the Drill Sergeant concept. They are the antithesis of what you think of as "charismatic." This class uses that to its advantage. In other words, true evil is ugly, and ugly gets you places in the underworld. The leadership abilities come from the fact that these tend to lead minions. I'll contribute ideas, but I won't drive the boat.
Hmm. Unnatural Life (Su): Gain bonus hit points equal to twice your basic attack bonus. Demonic Brutality (Su): For killing so many good beings, you may now smite good 1 + Cha modifier per day, with bonus damage equal to your basic attack bonus. Infernal Resistance (Su): Gain elemental resistance 10 vs. fire. Priest Killer (Ex): You gain +4 to your saves against divine spell and any divine caster that you threaten gains a -4 to his concentration checks. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Dmilewski (talkcontribs) 10:32, 20 March 2007 (MST). Please sign your posts!
I think that was one of the main things with 3rd ed. that Wizards was trying to change (besides removing THAC0 -- remember that? :-P). The concept of what charisma is. A drill sergeant would likely have a low charisma if he is disliked (he is not respected, but his position is respected). Are drill sergeants more intimidating because of their personality? Probably in real life a little, but it more has to do with their skills of intimidation rather than their force of personality. Charisma probably shouldn't matter to this class for this reason. I think I'll adopt this class should I get time. --Aarnott 12:51, 20 March 2007 (MDT)

Complete Rewrite[edit]

I completely rewrote the class. This class now gains the Fiendish template.

I am now happier with the class. The focus works far better with the concept.

Right now, the class is five levels. Is there sufficient coolness in the class for ten levels? --Dmilewski 13:14, 8 May 2007 (MDT)

Possible "advanced" class features: Protection from Good, Smite Good, Fly, Summon (Blood Soldier), telepathy, teleportation, blasphemy (1/day). From half-fiend: Bat Wings, Natural Armor +1, Claw and Bite, Smite Good, Spell-Like Ability, Immune to Poison, Single Ability Increase.--Dmilewski 14:04, 8 May 2007 (MDT)
You are right: the new class is much better. Problem with a tenth-level is that it will significantly cripple a character (for a much stronger character after death, of course). For an NPC, this is even better and for a PC even worse (well, except in very specific campaign where a Blood Soldier would certainly rule). So yes, a 10-level is doable as long as NPC remains the focus.
As for the template, you said “Change the character's type to Outsider [Extraplanar, Evil]”. Shouldn't it be “Change the character's type to Outsider [Augemented Humanoid, Evil]”?
Finally, about the powers: since the goal of a Blood Soldier is to get a good position in afterlife, I suggest that at least half of his power will not be redundant with his future fiendish position (like immunity to fire from Blood Soldier being overridden by his new body as a fiend). Because, should the power be redundant, you end up with a Blood Soldier having less and less of an edge as he climbs up the infernal hierarchy.
Just some thoughts. Once again, this is a good build here (and I am an demanding person, I don't say “good build” to anyone :-) ).
David Latapie ( | @) — blog 14:13, 8 May 2007 (MDT)
Thanks. This class has potential to go places, but I'll only take it places if we get a good design on it. Right now, it's short, sweet, and works. It generates an interesting NPC. It's a good hook into a possible campaign to break up a Blood Soldier cult. That's a good NPC class in my book. --Dmilewski 14:23, 8 May 2007 (MDT)
By default, any time type changes, the creature automatically gets the augmented subtype. Any exceptions are explicitly noted (e.g. the skeleton). This, however, brings up a question: Why does the PrC change the type to outsider? That's not part of the fiendish template.
Also, I think this should stay a 5 level PrC. (Allows 10 levels for the follow-up PrC. See below discussion.) —Sledged (talk) 14:25, 8 May 2007 (MDT)
There should definitely be something as a follow-up. I'm thinking "dead Blood Soldier" will be the only requirement for the class. For PC's, it's a mistake to create a class that only uses its best ability when it dies, but for a NPC, it's a useful plot-twist.
Definitely a good idea, a follow-up PrC as a dead Blood Soldier!
David Latapie ( | @) — blog 14:58, 8 May 2007 (MDT)
I can tweak this a bit. We'll add (Extraplanar) to his subtype. On dying, his subtype changes to Outsider (Extraplanar). (When you sell your soul to infernal powers, and you die, those powers come to collect.) --Dmilewski 14:32, 8 May 2007 (MDT)

Feat Requirements[edit]

The feat requirements (not prerequisites) Two-Weapon Fighting and Weapon Focus (polearm) seem a bit counter-intuitive, given that the only time one could benefit from both is to wield a polearm designed for a creature one size smaller. —Sledged (talk) 13:29, 8 May 2007 (MDT)

Transformational Class[edit]

This PrC just begs for another transformational PrC to gain the half-fiend template. —Sledged (talk) 13:29, 8 May 2007 (MDT)

You're just too quick off the mark. I was just fixing that. A fighter can now qualify for this for this class for his sixth level. :P We could call a half-fiend a Degenerate? A depraved butcher? Hmmm. Gotta think about that. That also begs for a Celestial and a half-celestial PrC. --Dmilewski 13:51, 8 May 2007 (MDT)
Blood Champion. —Sledged (talk) 14:37, 8 May 2007 (MDT)
Ooooh. So we can have a Blood Soldier (followed up with Blood Champion), a Celestial Soldier (followed up with Celestial Champion)? That sounds cool.--Dmilewski 14:48, 8 May 2007 (MDT)
Now you're speaking of it: The Blood Soldier is a Transformational Prestige Class. Let's see if there is something similar in official rules and how we can depart from this (the Champions as the dead follow-up is a great way to differ from the existing transformational classes).
David Latapie ( | @) — blog 16:03, 8 May 2007 (MDT)

About the Celestial Pendant[edit]

I don't think a Celestial pendant would make sense: there is no mercenary mindset in the Heavens. In the Hells, one can bargain an insurance, but not in the Heavens, it just doesn't fit with the concept of Good (one can pursue power, but not pursue virtue). Cupidity, hunger for power, comes from the person, but Virtue descends upon the Heavens. One can buy himself a position in Hell, but not in Heavens, because there is no symmetry here (do I make myself understood? I'm not sure). Bottom-line: no Celestial Soldier possible (if it was, the Celestial Champion would have the Deathless template and should not be called Celestial because the contrary is Infernal, not Blood).

Of course, this is just a suggestion.
David Latapie ( | @) — blog 16:03, 8 May 2007 (MDT)

Instead of "celestial soldier," it could be called "warrior of light." —Sledged (talk) 16:10, 8 May 2007 (MDT)
Light | Darkness ;-) but anyway, I would be very careful before considering such a Deathless. For those who read the D&D fora, see the Psionic Lich
David Latapie ( | @) — blog 16:20, 8 May 2007 (MDT)
"Warrior of the soul" then. —Sledged (talk) 16:28, 8 May 2007 (MDT)
Interesting, it opposes well to Blood. Congratulations :-) Maybe Spirit would be even better, since Spirit relates even more naturally to Heavens (e.g. Holy Spirit). But the main question remains: does it make sense?
David Latapie ( | @) — blog 16:32, 8 May 2007 (MDT)
It makes sense. The fluff text would change to reflect the motivation of those who seek to fight for good in the celestial armies. Think less "mercenary" and more "volunteer." Pitch: These are warriors who have dedicated themselves to serving the cause of heaven in the afterlife. Rather than have a peaceful and easy afterlife, they have sacrificed their eternal bliss to protect Good for all eternity. In other words, they have chosen to have a worse afterlife than they deserve.--Dmilewski 17:43, 8 May 2007 (MDT)
I like it. You convinced me! “They are among the most virtuous of the Exalted and are collectively known as ‘Warriors of the Soul|Spirit’” (Spirit looks better for the reason I expressed earlier, but Soul sounds better). I will create a mockup ASAP.
David Latapie ( | @) — blog 02:38, 9 May 2007 (MDT)

Shall there be some Ethical pendant (Axiomatic/Anarchist?). That would make sense, although I won't do it myself as I'm not that interested in it.
David Latapie ( | @) — blog 02:38, 9 May 2007 (MDT)

Are there Lawful and Chaotic templates too draw from? Or do we need to design those? --Dmilewski 09:53, 9 May 2007 (MDT)
There arn't any I can think of. A cool idea could also include a teifling/aismar progression. I find a lot of people like those races. --Aarnott 09:59, 9 May 2007 (MDT)


There is no class aside form fighterI can reasonably see joinging this class. You'd need at least one level in fighter or else kiss it good-bye, given how-many proficiency feats are required.--Theophenes 00:32, 8 July 2007 (MDT)

That was a very purposeful decision. This is primarily an NPC class. Compare that to the Warrior of the Soul (DnD Class), whose requirements are generally easier. --Dmilewski 07:17, 8 July 2007 (MDT)
I thought about this for a month. Yes, the requirements are too much. I've loosened them greatly. --Dmilewski 20:04, 1 August 2007 (MDT)
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