Gutbuster (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||I’m a battlerager, the battlerager, and don’t ye ever forget that the Pwent plays to win!||”|
|—Thibledorf Pwent,Dwarf, Battlerager - The Gutbuster Brigade of Mithral Hall, The Legacy, R.A. Salvatore|
Long before you see the Battlerager, his armor announces his approach. When he finally comes into view, his armor menaces with spikes and ridges, brutal claws extending from his gauntlets. The slightly crazy wild look on his face tells you that he enjoys battle, perhaps a little too much. It is with reckless abandon that he throws himself at his enemies, grabbing them to him and slicing them to pieces with his armor, or simply barreling through them, sowing chaos on the battlefield.
Gutbusters, as Battleragers, revere Clangeddin Silverbeard, a secondary deity of the Dwarven pantheon, as he is the overseer of battle. They often sing their way into battle, finding enjoyment in the slaughter of the enemies of their race and home. Due to their rough, uncouth, and often very dirty ways, they are shunned by "normal" Dwarven society to one extent or another.
Note: Gutbuster is a class based on the description of the Battleragers of the dwarves of the Silver Marches of Faerun in the Forgotten Realms setting. 'Races of Faerun' has a WotC supplied Battlerager class where the typical weapon is an axe (in fact the Dwarven for Battlerager is Kuldjargh - Axe-idiot). Dwarves in the famed Gutbuster brigade take their fighting a step further and become the weapon.
Becoming a Gutbuster
Dwarves who elect to become Gutbusters often had tumultuous pasts, rife with anger, fighting, and trouble. They have devoted themselves to killing as many as possible with little regard for their own life. Since they require rage, they must have been somewhat wild (Barbarian or other) in the past.
|Base Attack Bonus:||+4.|
|Skills:||Jump 5 ranks, Intimidate 5 ranks,.|
|Feats:||Improved Unarmed Strike, Armor Proficiency (Heavy), Endurance, Martial Weapon Proficiency(armor spikes), Weapon Focus (Armor Spikes).|
|Special:||Ability to rage.|
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+0||Weapon and Armor Proficiency, Rager Hide, Rager Flurry, Moving Strike, Gruff Demeanor, Armor Weapon, Violent shake|
|2nd||+2||+3||+3||+0||Rager Weapon Specialization,Spiked Defense, Whirlwind Attack|
|3rd||+3||+3||+3||+1||Beware The Spikes, Critical Modifier, Bonus Feat.|
|4th||+4||+4||+4||+1||Grazing Strike, Painful Grapple|
|5th||+5||+4||+4||+1||Improved Rager Fury, Full Rager Attack|
|6th||+6||+5||+5||+2||Rippling Spikes, Double Strength, Bonus Feat|
|8th||+8||+6||+6||+2||Fear The Spikes|
|9th||+9||+6||+6||+3||Greater Rager Fury,Bonus Feat|
|10th||+10||+7||+7||+3||Triple Strength, Porcupine|
All of the following are class features of the Gutbuster.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Gutbusters gain proficiency with light, medium, and heavy armor.
Armor Weapon (Ex): A Gutbuster can attack with both gauntlets and his armor spikes each round.
Violent Shake: When grappling a Gutbuster substitutes his two gauntlet attacks for spiked armor attacks.
Gruff Demeanor (Ex): Gutbusters are not known for their cuddly ways, and they tend to be rude, uncouth, violent, and cocky. As such, you suffer a -4 racial penalty on allCharisma ability and skill checks you make except with other dwarves who grudgingly, if somewhat fearfully, respect your role in dwarven society. However, you now use your Strength modifier when making Intimidate checks, and your Strength score counts as your Charisma score for any prerequisites for intimidation- or combat-related feats or abilities, such as Imperious Command.
Moving Strike: During a full attack action the Gutbuster can move his base speed in any direction even as he’s attacking
Rager Hide (Ex): A Gutbuster may sleep when wearing a pair of spiked gauntlets and spiked heavy armor without becoming fatigued. For the purpose of running, spiked heavy armor is treated as medium armor. The maximum Dexterity bonus when wearing spiked heavy armor is increased by +4.
Rager Flurry (Ex): A Gutbuster gains the benefits of the Two-Weapon Fighting Feat when using a pair of spiked gauntlets only.
Spiked Defense (Ex): A Gutbuster of 2nd level gains a +1 bonus to AC when fighting defensively, using total defense, or Combat Expertise. This bonus increases by an additional +1 every two levels after 2nd. This bonus only applies when the Gutbuster is donned in spiked armor.
Rager Weapon Specialization (Ex): At 2nd level a Gutbuster gains Weapon Specialization (armor spikes) and Weapon Specialization (spiked gauntlets) as bonus feats even if he doesn't meet the prerequisites. If he already has any of these feats, he may replace them with any other feat he qualifies for.
Whirlwind Attack:At 2nd level a Gutbuster gains the Whirlwind Attack feat even if he doesn't meet the prerequisites
Beware the Spikes (Ex): At 3rd level, whenever an opponent makes a melee attack against a Gutbuster and misses, the Gutbuster gains a free attack of opportunity against that opponent. This attack must be made using spiked gauntlets or armor spikes. This does not increase the number of attacks of opportunity he can make in one round.
Critical Modifier (Ex): At 3rd level, the critical multiplier on all spiked weapons and armor spikes the Gutbuster wears or wields increases to x3 and the critical range is extended to 19-20.
Grazing Strike (Ex): At 4th level, when attacking with spiked gauntlets or armor spikes, the Gutbuster may elect to deal slashing damage instead of piercing damage.
Painful Grapple(Ex): At 4th level the Gutbuster is able to multiply his damage by 1.5 if he is grappling the enemy he is attacking.
Improved Rager Flurry (Ex): At 5th level, a Gutbuster gains the benefits of the Improved Two-Weapon Fighting Feat when using a pair of spiked gauntlets only.
Full Rager Attack (Ex): At 5th level, a Gutbuster may make an extra attack at his highest attack bonus with his armor spikes after a full attack with both spiked gauntlets.
Rippling Spikes (Ex): At 6th level, the Gutbuster learns to use the spikes on his person to fool his enemy. The Gutbuster may feint as a move action and gains a +4 bonus to do so. This only applies when using a pair of spiked gauntlets and spiked heavy armor.
Double Strength (Su): At 6th level, the Gutbuster gains the ability to add double his Strength modifier to all attacks done with either his armor spikes or spiked gauntlets.
Rolling Charge (Ex): At 7th level, a Gutbuster gains the benefit of his spiked defense when making a charge, without having to fight defensively or use Combat Expertise. A spiked Rager may also make a full attack after a charge. In addition, the Gutbuster's base land speed is increased by 10 feet when making a charge. This ability requires a pair of spiked gauntlets and spiked heavy armor..
Fear the Spines (Ex): At 8th level, the Gutbuster instinctively twitches and shifts his spikes to deter opponents. When an opponent is struck by his Beware The Spines class ability, the Gutbuster may use Intimidate to demoralize that opponent as a free action, gaining a bonus on the Intimidate check equal to the damage dealt.
Greater Rager Flurry (Ex): At 9th level, a Gutbuster gains benefits of the Greater Two-Weapon Fighting Feat when using a pair of spiked gauntlets only.
Triple Strength (Su): At 10th level, the Gutbuster gains the ability to add triple his Strength modifier to all attacks done with either his armor spikes or spiked gauntlets.
Porcupine(Su): At 10th level, the Gutbuster can now unleash a globe of quill like spikes on his enemies. These spikes do 4d8 HPs in a 10ft radius. These spikes act as a barrier and lasts for 1d6 rounds. It can be used the Gutbuster's constitution modifier per day. The Gutbuster can not use this ability again until a long rest.
Playing a Gutbuster
Combat: Gutbusters live for combat. When they are not fighting they are dreaming of fighting, or instigating some fighting. They are typically in the thick of things, and fully expect to take lots of damage, but deal even more. Proficient with heavy armor and with some specials that keep them from being attacked during specific actions (Grapple) they are generally on the front lines.
Advancement Gutbusters are always on the lookout for new and better ways to kill. If they live long enough to finish the Gutbuster level advancement, they may look to other disciplines that focus on combat to help fill out their repertoire.
Resources A Gutbuster generally has previously been a part of a Dwarven fighting force, an army, mercenary guild or other group. As such they should have a former commander, leadership, and comrades in arms who would be delighted to see them again.
Gutbusters in the World
|“||Thibbledorf Pwent dropped to one knee and rolled his burly shoulder, punching his fist triumphantly out in front of him. “Yeeeeeah!” he cried in glee. “Suren it’s good to be back serving a Battlehammer!”||”|
|—Thibledorf Pwent,Dwarf, Battlerager - The Gutbuster Brigade of Mithral Hall, The Legacy, R.A. Salvatore|
Dwarven communities are often at odds with their neighbors, especially those of the Orc, Giant, and Troll variety. To help diplomatically deal with these neighbors, they employ armies, often with a contingent of Gutbuster as the "tip of the spear". The Gutbusters will often be the leading edge of the battle, sowing confusion and death, sometimes routing an enemy of much greater size simply through bloodlust alone. They are loud, obnoxious, dirty, uncouth, rude, and generally unpleasant.
NPC Reactions: Normal people will be immediately turned off by a Gutbuster. The smell and the sound of their armor is only the beginning. The off-color remarks, casual references to death or violence, rude behavior and lack of social graces will not engender outsiders of the party to them, and may in fact hamper efforts of the party to deal with NPCs diplomatically. Dwarven NPCs may have a reverent, but still stand-offish reaction to a Gutbuster.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (History) can research Gutbuster to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|11||Gutbusters are wild Dwarves who fight with abandon.|
|16||Through sheer fortitude and rage, Gutbusters hurl themselves into battle for their king and community.|
|21||Gutbusters are so wild and unpredictable they are shunned by the society at large; often they don't notice this.|
|26||Dwarven communities like XXX and YYY have regimented and rigorous training doctrines to prepare Dwarves for service as a Gutbuster.|
Gutbuster in the Game
Characters who play the Gutbuster often find themselves as both comedic (being intentionally rude and oblivious to others negative feelings for you) and inciting (off-hand remarks and general distasteful actions can cause problems). Gutbuster characters often adopt the "try anything at least once" stance when it comes to party action plans. No matter how dangerous, some plans are just too exciting to pass up. Gutbusters do not typically have a long term goal. They have inner demons that they have to work out through violence and anger.
Adaptation: Other races may find some familiarity with the mindset that the Gutbuster embraces. Barbarians and other fighter types could find themselves in heavy spiked armor in a red hazed rage, dealing death on their foes just as hard as they could.
Sample Encounter: Rorick and his twin brother Harrick lost their parents to an orc raid when they were in their teens. Left to raise themselves, they each took separate routes to find resolution in their anguish over their parents deaths. While Harrick found solace in the divine, eventually becoming a cleric of Moradin, Rorick took to drinking. There was some coin in the family coffers and he slowly sank into the drink, becoming a disruptive nuisance to many of the dwarves around Adbar.
It was on a fateful day of drinking and wandering that he would find his way, and the calling of his life. In a drunken stumble, he shambled about the lower mines. The dwarves in the area were hard at work extracting Mithral from the stubborn earth, when a newly hewn passage collapsed with orcs pouring out of the breach. Already riled from a confrontation with a miner a few minutes before, Rorick was now face to face with the filthy creatures who had killed his mother and father. Taking up a nearby pick, he mounted his drunken rage on the orcs, bolstering the line, and eventually sallying forth from the line to wade into the mob of orcs slaying with impunity. After the retreat of the orcs, the militia commander on duty found Rorick, covered in wounds and blood, his clothes ripped, surrounded by the bodies of the orcs that he tore quite literally to pieces around him.
Harnot Sabrak-morndin, the commander of the Adbar Wilddwarf brigade, welcomed Rorick into the battlerager unit less than a week later, starting Rorick on a path of training, toughening, and risk-taking that his brother could only watch with sorrow and astonishment.