Berserker (3.5e Class)
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Berserkers rely on their emotions and relentless fury to over-come their enemies. Regardless of the injuries they suffer, they battle on. Berserkers are like avalanches or onrushing floods in battle. They cannot be stopped, merely endured until they have vented their boundless energy.
Making a Berserker
Abilities: Because of their role in melee combat and the use of their thick muscle, Strength is a berserker's most important ability score. Dexterity can help a little with defense, since he cannot wear heavy armor, and Constitution can increase the berserker's hit points and it is often the secondary ability score of Berserkers who use it to fuel their rage and a number of their abilities.
Races: The berserker class is most common among any savage humanoids, such as half-orcs, orcs, and wood elves. They may be common among certain human or dwarf cultures as well. Races which prefer less direct means of beating down opponents, such as gnomes, halflings, and most elves, rarely become berserkers.
Starting Gold: 4d4×10 gp (100 gp).
Starting Age: Simple .
|1st||+1||+2||+0||+0||Berserker Toughness, Fury pool, Berserker Ability x2, Bonus Feat|
|6th||+6||+5||+2||+2||Berserker Toughness II, Bonus Feat|
|10th||+10||+7||+3||+3||Improved Fury Pool, Battle Rage, Bonus Feat|
|12th||+12||+8||+4||+4||Berserker Toughness II|
|14th||+14||+9||+4||+4||Improved Uncanny Dodge, Bonus Feat|
|18th||+18||+11||+6||+6||Bounding Charge, Berserker Toughness II, Bonus Feat|
|20th||+20||+12||+6||+6||Ultimate Battle Rage|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level): Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge(Nature) (Int), Listen (Wis) Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex)
All of the following are class features of the Beserker.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A berserker is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light armor, medium armor, and shields (except tower shields).
Bonus Feats: A berserker gets a bonus combat-oriented feat at 1st and 2nd level and every 4 levels thereafter provided the pre-requisites are met.
Berserker Toughness: When unarmored and unencumbered, the Berserker adds his Str bonus (if any) to his AC. In addition, a berserker gains a +1 bonus to AC at 5th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every five berserker levels thereafter (+2 at 10th, +3 at 15th, and +4 at 20th level).
Fury pool: As a berserker, you gain access to the fury token pool. You spend these tokens to fuel your inner rage. Some actions you commit—and some your enemies commit—allow you to build up more fury tokens. This pool represents the growing rage in your mind as a battle progresses.
You earn fury tokens for a variety of actions and events that are summarized below. These tokens last till the end of the encounter, and you may use them against any foe. You may have, at most, a number of unspent fury tokens equal to 5 + Str mod + your class level.
Friend Defeated: If any ally suffers injuries that drop her to 0 or fewer hit points, you immediately gain 5 fury tokens as a desire for vengeance wells up within you.
Suffer Attack: As you withstand pain, animal fury naturally rises in you. Like a cornered creature, you summon an inner reserve of courage and anger to defend yourself. You gain 1 fury token for each attack that hits you. If have DR from any source, the attack must inflict damage of some sort. Damage prevented by 'Berserker Toughness II' doesn't prevent Fury generation (If the attack would cause damage without DR provided by 'Berserker Toughness II', it still generates Fury).
Stoke Fury: You howl, stomp your feet, or cut yourself with your weapon to stoke the inner fire of rage that burns within you. Each round, you can use a move action to arouse your fury. When you do so, you gain 1 fury token. You gain 2 fury tokens if you stoke your fury as a standard action, and 4 if you opt for a full-round action.
Berserker Abilities: At every odd-numbered level in this class, including 1st level, you gain a berserker ability chosen from those described below. Your fury tokens power these ability. You can spend tokens on any combination of berserker abilities a once; spending them is a free action. At 1st level, you gain an extra berserker ability (for a total of two), selected from the following list: berserk mind, berserk speed, or berserk strength (see below). Berserker Abilities classify as 'Rage/Frenzy class ability' for Feat/PRC purposes.
Berserk Mind: While in the grip of your rage, your mind becomes a cloud of hatred, bloodlust, and fury. By spending 2 fury tokens, you can enter this almost mindless state of being. You become immune to all mind-affecting effects and spells and gain a +2 bonus on all saving throws. This state lasts for a number of rounds equal to 2 + your Constitution modifier. You can use this ability once per encounter. You can extend its duration at any time by 2 rounds by spending a single fury token. There is no limit to the total duration you may extend it to. You can choose to end this state at any time as a standard action.
Berserk Speed: By spending 2 fury tokens, you enter a raging state that makes you as quick and deadly as a tiger. You gain a +2 bonus to Dexterity and a +10ft unarmoured bonus to movement for a number of rounds equal to 2 + your Constitution modifier. You gain all the benefits of an enhanced Dexterity as normal. You can use this ability once per encounter. You can extend its duration at any time by 2 rounds by spending a single fury token. There is no limit to the total duration you may extend it to. You can choose to end this state at any time as a standard action.
Berserk Strength: This ability represents the stereotypical berserker state. It transforms you into a snarling, foaming madman who can cleave through enemies with relative ease. By spending 2 fury tokens, you gain a +2 bonus to Strength and a +2 bonus to Constitution for a number of rounds equal to 2 + your (newly improved) Constitution modifier. You gain additional hit points, and lose those hit points, as normal. You can use this ability once per encounter. You can extend its duration at any time by 2 rounds by spending a single fury token. There is no limit to the total duration you can extend it to. You can choose to end this state at any time as a standard action.
Berserk Toughness: When you empty your mind and allow your instinctual rage to guide you, you have a prodigious capacity to absorb wounds that would leave others in terrible pain. You may use this ability only while under the effects of berserk mind, above. For each fury token you spend on this ability, you can transfer 2 points from your reserve pool immediately to heal your injuries. This healing applies only to hit points of damage. You cannot spend more than 4 fury tokens on berserk toughness per round.
Blade Dancer: You may use this ability while under the effects of berserk speed, above. Each time you drop an opponent to below 0 hit points, you may spend 1 fury token to move one square (5 feet) as part of your attack action. You can then take your move action or complete your full attack action as nor- mal. This movement counts toward your movement allowance for the round, and it provokes an attack of opportunity as normal.
Blind Rage: You pay little mind to your surroundings as you hack away at your opponents. In this state, you risk accidentally attacking anyone who draws near. It is best to use blind rage while your allies keep their distance. You may spend 2 fury tokens on blind rage, but only while under the effects of berserk strength, above. You bonus to Strength and Constitution from berserk strength are included by 100%, but at the same time you limit your combat options. You must attack a randomly selected opponent in your threatened area to the best of your ability. Should that opponent fall, you must attack a different,random foe. If you no longer threaten any opponents, you charge the closest living creature that you can reach. You never attempt to charge through impassable or deadly terrain. If no such target exists, simply move toward the nearest creature each round. You can take no other actions, though you can continue to spend fury tokens as normal (for example, to renew the effects of other berserker abilities). You must use your attack of opportunity against the first creature, whether friend or foe, that provokes one from you. If you have more than one attack of opportunity, you strike the second (and third, fourth, and so on) creature that provokes one. This state of blind rage lasts for 1 + 1/2 Con Mod rounds, or until Berserk Strength is exhausted. You can spend tokens on your next action to refresh Blind Rage's Duration.
Furious Strike: For each fury token you spend on this ability, you gain a +1 bonus to damage on a single attack you make. You must spend these tokens before resolving your attack. (+2 at level 10, +3 at Level 20)
Furious Throw: You rear back and throw a weapon that is not normally designed for ranged combat. The raw power of your rage allows you to deliver an effective attack at short range. You may throw any one-handed weapon to a range of 20 feet as a normal attack without penalty. You must spend 1 fury token for each attack made in this manner. If you spend 1 additional token, you can first pick up a weapon on the ground in your space (though not one on your belt or in a sheath) as a free action. For example, if you hacked down two guards, you could pick up their swords and throw them using this ability and 4 fury tokens.
March of Ruin: You focus your efforts on a single opponent, bearing down upon her with such grim determination that few would willingly stand in your way. You can only use this ability while under the effects of berserk mind, above. Pick a single target within your line of sight for your march of ruin. If a foe stands between you and your target, you move into the foe’s space as described in the overrun combat action (see “Overrun” in Chapter Eight: Combat) as part of a move action. You must pay 1 fury token for each space you enter in this way. In addition, an opponent who wishes to block you must succeed at a Will save (DC 10 + half your level + your Strength modifier). If she fails, she must choose to avoid you. If you wish, you may force an opponent who avoids you to move into the last space you occupied. The rest of this ability is as discussed in the overrun combat action.
Overpowering Assault: You bear down upon a single opponent, overwhelming her with your raw fury. You move into your opponent’s square, provoking an attack of opportunity in the process. However, while you occupy this space, you reduce your opponent’s reach by 5ft. If this drops her reach to 0, she can only attack opponents in her square. Attempting to leave the square provokes an attack of opportunity from you. Your reach becomes 0 regardless of its original value. You must spend 2 fury tokens to activate this ability and use 5ft of movement to enter your foe’s space. Anyone who makes an attack into this square may hit either you or your foe; use the rules for attacking into a grapple to determining which combatant was hit.
Overwhelming Charge: When using a charge action, you can spend 2 fury tokens to hurtle into the fray with little concern for your safety or defenses. You literally throw yourself into your opponent. In addition to the standard benefits of a charge, you may make a free trip attack before or after your strike, even if you normally cannot trip a foe with your weapon. If your attempt fails, your foe can try to trip you as normal. Apply the benefits of a charge to this attack.
Primal Howl: You unleash a ferocious animal scream that strikes terror into your enemies. All enemies within 60 feet of you must attempt Will saves (DC 10 + half your berserker level + your Strength mod + tokens spent). Upon a failed save, any creature with fewer Hit Dice than you becomes frightened, and those with Hit Dice equal to or greater than your own total become shaken. Shaken creatures do not become frightened because of this ability, nor do frightened ones become panicked. Using the primal howl as a standard action costs a minimum of 2 fury tokens; as a move action, 6; and as a free action, 10.
Relentless Attack: You continue to fight even when your hit points fall below 0. By spending 4 fury tokens each round, you can carry on fighting and acting as normal until you die. You lose hit points and make Fortitude saves to stabilize as normal.
Storm of Fury: Rage clouds your mind, causing you to swing with little accuracy, but your anger sends renewed vigor surging through your arms. You can use this ability only while under the effects of berserk speed (see above). Using storm of fury, you deliver a flurry of attacks against your opponent. For every 4 fury tokens you spend, you may make an additional melee attack at your Highest BAB as part of a full attack action. You suffer a –2 penalty to attacks and damage and a –1 penalty to AC for each bonus strike. The penalties last for the entire round. There is no limit to the total number of additional attacks you can gain from this ability, though you must have enough fury tokens to pay for them all.
Suicidal Assault: You pay little heed to your defenses as you rage, slamming into foes with unmatched power. For every fury token spent on the suicidal assault, you gain a +1 bonus to attacks and suffer a –1 penalty to your AC. You cannot reduce your AC to below 0 in this manner. This bonus and its penalty last until your next action.
Reckless Assault: You own wounds matter little to you as you rage, hitting them with such force that the recoil alone wounds you. For every fury token spent on the Reckless assault, you gain a +2 bonus to attacks and +4 bonus to Damage, but in return lose the same damage bonus in hp if the attack lands. (This damage is not prevented by DR.) This bonus lasts until your next action.
Animalistic Instincts: Calling on Primal instincts, your body responds with enhanced metobalism, speeding up the natural healing process. For every fury token spent on the Animalistic Instincts, you gain +1 Fast Healing for a number of rounds equal to your 3 + Con Bonus (if any). The duration can be increased by spending 2 fury tokens for every addition round, up to a maximum of 9 + Con Bonus (if any). The Fast healing gained from this can Never exceed Half your Current BAB.
Uncanny Dodge: (Ex): Beginning at 4th level, you retain your active bonus to defense when you are caught flat footed, as your inner, instinctual senses warn you of danger. You do not enjoy this benefit if you wear armor of any kind. If you already have uncanny dodge from a different class, you gain improved uncanny dodge instead.
Berserker Toughness II: At 6th level, a Berserkers resilence to wounds becomes more reddily apparent, gaining a DR equal to his (Str mod x0.5 + Half Berserker Class level). At level 12 this improves to (Str mod x0.75 + Half Berserker Class level), and at level 18 this improves to (Str mod + Half Berserker Class level).
Heedless Charge: (Ex): Upon reaching 8th level, when you use the charge attack action, you can forgo your defenses in favor of a more accurate and deadly strike. By taking a –4 penalty to defense rather than the typical –2 penalty, you increase the benefits of charging to either a +4 bonus to your attack or a +2 bonus to your attack and a +4 bonus to damage. These benefits apply only to the attack made as part of your charge, but the defense penalty persists until your next action.
Improved Fury Pool: (Ex): At 10th level, you become more adept at drawing out your inner rage using the stoke fury action described above.
|Friend defeated||5 fury tokens|
|Suffer attack||1 fury tokens/attack that hits|
|Stoke fury||2 fury tokens/move action|
|Stoke fury||3 fury tokens/standard action|
|Stoke fury||5 fury tokens/full-round action|
Battle Rage: (Ex): Beginning at 10th level, you have taken your first step in becomming a truly unstoppable force. As the rage builds up instead the berserker, he learns to bottle some of it, keeping it ready for the next combat. Starting an 10th level, and further increasing at every even level thereafter, the berserker can store a small number of fury tokens after an encounter. The ammount he can store is equal to (Half berserker class level + half str mod) rounded down. In addition, the Stat bonus's provided by the berserk mind, berserk speed, and berserk strength abilities increase by +4 (becoming +6 to each instead).
Improved Uncanny Dodge: (Ex): Starting at 14th level, you cannot be flanked when you wear no armor of any sort. Your animalistic combat instincts allow you to dodge and twist to prevent enemies from taking advantage of a flank. This defense prevents the use of sneak attack and other precision-based attacks that require flanking.
Bounding Charge: (Ex): Beginning at 18th level, you leap into battle with long, loping strides. When using the charge action, you may move up to triple, rather than double, your movement. However, if you do so, you increase the charge penalty to defense by an additional –2.
Ultimate Battle Rage: (Ex): By 20th level, you have become a walking engine of destruction. You automatically gain 1 fury token per round of combat at the beginning of your action. In addition, the stat bonuses provided by the berserk mind, berserk speed, and berserk strength abilities increase by a further +4 (to +10 each).
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+ Int modifier skill points per level.
Bonus Feats: The epic gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic bonus feats) every levels after 20th.
Epic Bonus Feat List: .
Berserker Starting Package
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.
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Playing a Berserker
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Berserkers in the World
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Berserkers in the Game
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