Hammerer (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||Never met a problem you couldn't solve with a hammer.||”|
|—Broden Steelmitt, dwarven hammerer|
The dwarves of the mountains are invariably a war-focused folk, since the dark depths and cold slopes of the mountain ranges they inhabit tend to be dangerous and filled with marauders of all kinds. Thus, there are many orders of warriors that seek to defend the dwarf fortresses. Foremost among them are the dwarven defenders, but equally famed are the hammerers, a strict knightly order that brings peace with the swing of a greathammer.
The effectiveness of the hammerers has been noted by all races and cultures, however, and they're no longer strictly restricted to dwarves. Traditionally, only a dwarf can pass on and teach the hammerer legacy, but the pupil can be of any race and creed. Strong, independent folk with unconquerable willpower make the best hammerers.
The focus of a hammerer is his greathammer, a mighty weapon of war often fashioned to resemble a particular animal (with ox, ram and lion being the most common) depending on which hammerer order the warrior belongs to. They are exceptional frontline warriors, able to beat down foes seemingly much stronger and stouter that them.
Becoming a hammerer
Hammerers seek to defend a particular fortress, city, town, area, country, person, or way of life. While the hammerers have no official knightly vows, people who join the order nonetheless often do it to follow some set of self-defined rules: defend the weak, crush the oppressors and so on.
|Base Attack Bonus:||+5.|
|Feats:||Power Attack, Weapon Focus (greathammer)|
|Special:||The character must be inducted to the hammerers by a dwarven hammerer.|
|1st||+1||+2||+0||+2||Stunning blow 1/day, versatile training|
|3rd||+3||+3||+1||+3||Bash to bits +2, stunning blow 2/day|
|5th||+5||+4||+1||+4||Stunning blow 3/day|
|6th||+6||+5||+2||+5||Bash to bits +4|
|7th||+7||+5||+2||+5||Stunning blow 4/day|
|9th||+9||+6||+3||+6||Bash to bits +6, stunning blow 5/day|
|11th||Stunning blow 6/day|
|12th||Bash to bits +8|
|13th||Stunning blow 7/day|
|15th||Bash to bits +10, stunning blow 8/day|
|17th||Stunning blow 9/day|
|18th||Bash to bits +12, bonus feat|
|19th||Stunning blow 10/day|
Hammerers concentrate their efforts to becoming better at wielding their weapon of choice. All of the abilities outlined below only function when the hammerer is wielding a greathammer. All of the following are class features of the hammerer.
Stunning Blow (Ex): A hammerer can strike an opponent with a blow so mighty it leaves the target reeling. The hammerer must declare an attack to be a stunning blow before the attack roll is made. When an opponent takes damage from a stunning blow, it must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + damage dealt) or be stunned for 1 round. A hammerer can only use his stunning blow a certain number of times per day as determined by his level (see Table: the Hammerer).
At 11th level, and every two levels thereafter, the epic hammerer gains one additional use of stunning blow a day (to 6/day at 11th, 7/day at 13th, 8/day at 15th and so on).
Versatile Training: A hammerer's levels in the class stack with his fighter levels for purposes of taking feats with the prerequisite of a given fighter level. For example, a 4th-level hammerer could take Weapon Specialization, and so could a 2nd-level fighter/2nd-level hammerer.
Parry (Ex): Since wielding a two-handed hammer leaves no hand open for a shield, hammerers train to use their massive weapon as a protective device. During his action, a hammerer can designate an opponent and receive a +1 shield bonus to Armor Class against attacks from that opponent. A hammerer can select a new opponent on any action.
Bash to Bits (Ex): A hammerer has special training in taking down fortified, armored or otherwise hard-to-break objects and creatures. A hammerer gets a +2 bonus on damage rolls when attacking a Construct, an object with hardness (including sundering weapons and shields) or an opponent whose damage reduction is effective against your attack. This ability's benefit does not apply against a target if its damage reduction does not apply to your attacks. This bonus rises to +4 when the hammerer reaches 6th level and to +6 when he reaches 9th level.
At 12th level, and every three levels thereafter, the damage bonus of the epic hammerer increases by 2 (to +8 at 12th, +10 at 15th, +12 at 18th and so on).
Bonus Feat: At 4th level, a hammerer may select either Improved Bull Rush or Improved Sunder as a bonus feat. At 8th level, he may select either Improved Critical or Power Critical as a bonus feat. A hammerer need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them.
The epic hammerer gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic hammerer feats) every 4 levels after 10th.
Epic Hammerer Bonus Feat List: Armor Skin, Damage Reduction, Devastating Critical, Epic Prowess, Epic Toughness, Extended Life Span, Great Constitution, Great Strength, Overwhelming Critical, Perfect Health
Meteoric Strike (Su): The power with which a hammerer wields his greathammer is so great that the very air blazes with the movement of the weapon. Any greathammer the hammerer wields is considered to have the flaming burst special ability.
Playing a Hammerer
Combat: A hammerer is the ultimate close combat beast: the swings of his hammer take down foe after foe, but without backup (both mundane and magical) he can be quick to succumb to opposition. Whenever the biggest, meanest, most hit point -heavy foe shows up, that is where the hammerer should be.
Advancement: Hammerers typically come from the fighter class, although it is in no way enforced. Their versatile training means they can move in and out of the class along with fighter to rack up the fighter-exclusive feats. Other combat classes, like barbarian and ranger, can also make for an interesting and powerful combination.
Resources: Anyone who can save the hammerer from taking too many direct blows, whether by forcing enemies away, taking aid another actions to save him or by casting protective spells on him, is a godsend for the class. Hammerer works wonders when coupled with a more defense-oriented combatant, such as a battle cleric or a knight.
Hammerers in the World
|“||I was once struck by lightning. Much more pleasant than being struck by a hammerer.||”|
Hammerers are orderly, disciplined and fearless, which means they usually fit into structured society perfectly and are more than happy to work with anyone who share their goals. Few are those who hold a grudge against the hammerers. Hammerers themselves, however, don't take kindly to those who despise their world view, and would rather travel with those who share their ideals.
NPC Reactions: Aristocrats and other folk of higher classes tend to consider hammerers old-fashioned but harmless, like a forgotten friend who's nonetheless there when needed. Commoners, on the other hand, hold the knightly order in high regard, since hammerers have rallied to protect the weak far and wide.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (nobility and royalty) can research hammerers to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|10||Hammerers are a knightly order of warriors who wield massive greathammers.|
|15||Most hammerers are dwarves, but there are a few hammerer trainees from other races as well.|
|20||The strike of a hammerer can leave an enemy reeling, and their blows can bypass even the toughest hide.|
|25||The greatest hammerers strike their foes like meteors, crushing opposition effortlessly.|
Hammerers in the Game
The knightly order that is the hammerers is ample ground for roleplaying, both in how the player characters react to them and in how a player character can choose to train as one. Play as a hammerer if you think the most interesting place to be is the middle of the fray and you like to overpower foes with combat abilities.
Sample Encounter: The players come across a group of trolls looting and consuming a dwarven trader party while searching a cave. Before they can do anything, a strong-looking dwarf with a massive hammer rushes past them and strikes one of the trolls dead with a single blow.
EL 10: After defeating the troglodytes, the hammerer demands to know what the players are doing in the area. He's not hostile, but if the players are, doesn't hesitate to attack them.
|Sir Morrican Mountdwight|
|Size/Type:||Medium Humanoid (Dwarf), 5th-level Fighter/5th-level Hammerer|
|Hit Dice:||10d10+40 (95 hp)|
|Speed:||20 ft. (4 squares)|
|Armor Class:||21 (+1 Dex, +10 armor), touch 11, flat-footed 20|
|Attack:||+1 greathammer of frost +17 melee (1d12+9 plus 1d6 cold/×3)|
|Full Attack:||+1 greathammer of frost +17/+12 melee (1d12+9 plus 1d6 cold/×3)|
|Space/Reach:||5 ft./5 ft.|
|Special Attacks:||Stunning blow 3/day, bash to bits +2|
|Special Qualities:||Darkvision 60 ft., stonecunning, stability, versatile training, parry|
|Saves:||Fort +12, Ref +5, Will +7|
|Abilities:||Str 18, Dex 12, Con 18, Int 11, Wis 14, Cha 10|
|Skills:||Intimidate +12, Swim +16 (+11 with armor)|
|Feats:||Cleave, Dodge, Greater Weapon Focus (greathammer), Improved Sunder, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (greathammer), Weapon Specialization (greathammer)|
|Treasure:||Standard plus +1 greathammer of frost and +2 full plate|
Stunning Blow (Ex): Sir Morrican can strike an opponent with a blow so mighty it leaves the target reeling. Sir Morrican must declare an attack to be a stunning blow before the attack roll is made. When an opponent takes damage from a stunning blow, it must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + damage dealt) or be stunned for 1 round. Sir Morrican can only use his stunning blow 3 times per day.
Parry (Ex): During his action, Sir Morrican can designate an opponent and receive a +1 shield bonus to Armor Class against attacks from that opponent. Sir Morrican can select a new opponent on any action.
Bash to Bits (Ex): Sir Morrican gets a +2 bonus on damage rolls when attacking a Construct, an object with hardness (including sundering weapons and shields) or an opponent whose damage reduction is effective against his attack. This ability's benefit does not apply against a target if its damage reduction does not apply to his attacks.
Sir Morrican is a hammerer of a nearby dwarven fort, and fights fearlessly against all foes. His magical hammer finds a home upon the heads of the strongest foes, and Sir Morrican uses his stunning blows to stop opponents from effectively flanking him - usually by directing them against rogues and other feebler melee combatants.