Soldier (3.5e Prestige Class)
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|“||"A soldier is an instrument of war...an instrument does not question, but simply plays the tune as the hand that guides it so decrees...in the right hands it can create beautiful symphonies of victory and valorous glory...in the hands of the unjust, it strikes a tragic requiem of destruction, death and untold slaughter"||”|
|—Dawn of the Blackbird Empire, Lord-General Arbaeus, High-Commander of the Blackbird Army|
Trained to the letter under harsh military discipline and well versed in the arts of war, a soldier is prepared specifically to become the most effective killing machine possible. Soldiers are prepared much the same way throughout the many armies of the many different factions of the many worlds - in truth, only numbers win battles between such matches of strength.
There are stories of whole armies of soldiers colliding in battles that spanned entire planes and more, bursting through interplanar way-gates constructed by warlocks, wizards and sorcerers alike of legendary power. True or not they are one of the most vital assets to any nation of power - or aspiring ones...
Becoming a Soldier
Soldiers are very powerful weapons specialists who train and drill for long hours in order to prepare them for war and other exploits, they are much more resilient and disciplined that most other melee classes such as fighters and barbarians but are not tied to rules of conduct strict as that of paladins.
|Base Attack Bonus:||+4.|
|Skills:||Intimidate 7 Ranks.|
|Feats:||Weapon Focus (any weapon), Power Attack, Endurance.|
|Weapon Proficiency:||Must be proficient with all Martial Weapons.|
|Special:||Have access to a recruitment officer of some kind and successfully apply. Must swear an oath in accordance with the military force with which he will serve.|
|6th||+6||+5||+2||+2||War Cry, Drills|
Diehard: At 1st level a soldier automatically gains the feat Diehard. A soldier when reduced to between –1 and –9 hit points, automatically becomes stable. You don’t have to roll d% to see if you lose 1 hit point each round.
When reduced to negative hit points, you may choose to act as if you were disabled, rather than dying. You must make this decision as soon as you are reduced to negative hit points (even if it isn’t your turn). If you do not choose to act as if you were disabled, you immediately fall unconscious.
When used, you can take either a single move or standard action each turn, but not both, and you cannot take a full round action. You can take a move action without further injuring yourself, but if you perform any standard action (or any other action deemed as strenuous, including some free actions, such as casting a quickened spell) you take 1 point of damage after completing the act. If you reach –10 hit points, you immediately die.
Drills(Ex): Harsh military training drills have given you access to some specialist actions which you are allowed to take with any single weapon type with which you have a Weapon Focus in. These specialist actions can only be applied when you are wielding the chosen weapon type with which you have a Weapon Focus in. You may only apply a selected Drills skill once to a single weapon type with which you have a Weapon Focus as the effects do not stack unless otherwise specified:
Deadly Force: Once a day a soldier can apply Deadly Force to a single attack, which negates the highest AC Bonus given to the target by armor, shield or natural armor bonuses. This includes all special AC such as a Monk's AC Bonus(Ex). However, this does not apply against armor granted by the targets Dexterity modifier or Dodge AC.
Blind Charge: When a soldier charges, he receives double the normal attack bonus granted by a successful Charge (+4 to attack roll instead of +2). However, the normal penalty to AC still apply (-2 to AC until the start of the soldier's next turn). This also doubles the bonus given by a Charge to initiate a Bull rush.
NOTE: A soldier may select either of Blind Charge or Defensive charge. However, may not select both for the same weapon type granted by the Drills Class skill.
Heavy Hitting: If a Soldier applies this Drills skill to a two-handed weapon or a one-handed weapon which is then wielded in two hands (granted that it is not light) they may apply double his Strength modifier to the damage roll instead of one and a half.
Uncanny Parry: A soldier is adept with moving his weapon in order to block and parry incoming attacks. If the soldier is not using a shield they gain a +1 shield bonus to AC whilst wielding chosen weapon type. If wielding two of the same weapon type the effects do not stack. Wearing a shield negates this bonus.
Unconventional Training: Taught to utilize the chosen weapon type beyond its typical means, a soldier will take no penalty from using this weapon unconventionally. In cases where usage of this weapon would count it as an improvised weapon (such as dealing non-lethal damage with a weapon that deals lethal damage), you take no such penalty (normally -4 to attack roll).
Bonus Feats: At 2nd level, a soldier gets a bonus combat-oriented feat. The soldier then gains an additional bonus feat at 5th level and every three soldier levels thereafter (5th and 8th) These bonus feats must be drawn from the feats noted as fighter bonus feats. A soldier must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including ability score and base attack bonus minimums.
These bonus feats are in addition to the feat that a character of any class gets from advancing levels. A soldier is not limited to the list of fighter bonus feats when choosing these feats.
Last Stand(Ex): A soldier even when reduced to between –1 and –9 hit points does not give in to any enemy, he is allowed to take both a move action and a standard action such as an attack in a single round. He is also allowed access to all special combat action such as Charge, Bull rush and Sunder. However, if the soldier does choose to take a full round action, he will incur double the hit point loss instead of regular hit point loss. If you reach –10 hit points, you immediately die.
This ability acts as an extension of the Diehard Feat. As such, when reduced to negative hit points, you may choose to act as if you were disabled, rather than dying. You must make this decision as soon as you are reduced to negative hit points (even if it isn’t your turn). If you do not choose to act as if you were disabled, the Last Stand ability has no effect and as a result you immediately fall unconscious.
War Cry(Ex): Once a day a soldier can issue an powerful War Cry as a standard action that both demoralizes opponents and boosts the morale of allies. All allies within 90ft that hear the War Cry gain a +2 to attack rolls, saving throws and skill check for a duration equal to 1/3 the soldiers levels in rounds.
To use the ability, a soldier makes an Intimidate check. His check result is the DC for each affected creature’s Will save against the effect. If a creature’s saving throw succeeds, the soldier cannot attempt to demoralize that creature again for 24 hours. If its saving throw fails, the creature suffer a -1 to all attack rolls, saving throws and skill checks. The War Cry affects the Soldier who issues the War Cry, whether he can hear it or not. The War Cry is effective for 90ft but does not affect enemy nor ally that cannot hear the War Cry. War Cry is a mind-affecting ability.
War Cry does not provoke an attack of opportunity
Intimidating Stance(Ex): At 7th level, a Soldier stance is enough to have a profound effect on those around them, instead of applying their usual Charisma modifier to their Intimidate checks, they can instead choose to apply their Strength or Constitution modifier (whichever is higher).
Spartan Aura(Ex): At 10th level, a soldier will not tolerate cowardice of any kind from those who choose to travel with him and so simply emits an emanating aura of pure brute intimidation. Any ally within 30ft of the soldier (including the soldier himself) that is affected by a fear-based magical attack or any fear-based effects may use the soldier’s Intimidate check result in place of its saving throw if, after the saving throw is rolled, the Intimidate check result proves to be higher. If an ally within range of the soldier is already under the influence of a fear effect or fear-based magical attack, it gains another saving throw against the effect each round it is within the soldiers Spartan Aura, but it must use the soldier's Intimidate check result for the save. The soldier's Spartan Aura has no effect against effects that don’t allow saves.
The soldier's Spartan Aura effect is instantly negated if the Soldier himself becomes helpless
If a soldier should defy his command or abandon his post (i.e. flee combat), he is stripped of his title and become demoralized, he can no longer perform the Last Stand or the War Cry ability if he gained enough levels in order to use those abilities and no longer emits his Spartan Aura. He however keeps his Bonus Feats and Drills skills he gained. If a soldier's alignment should change to any chaotic, he is instantly removed from the army in which he currently serves and is demoralized until he becomes a non-chaotic alignment and successfully re-applies to serve again.
A soldier who becomes chaotic, defies their command or abandons their post (i.e. flee combat) cannot gain new levels as a soldier until he has successfully re-applied to serve again.
Playing a Soldier
Adventure: Soldiers seek the knowledge to utilize their weapons in the most effective ways but at the same time to promote the values and uphold the justices sought by their oath. Whether good or evil a soldier will with the upmost priority venture for the betterment of their country and crown.
Combat: A soldier never cowers in the face of combat, he charges in and does not stop swinging his sword until all his enemies lay dead or he does. Soldiers are great for charging head first into any enemy without second thought, but otherwise little good for anything else. They excel in making combat short and swift but have no abilities as spellcasters or any capabilities with subtleties of diplomacy and communication - with the exception of brutish intimidation.
Advancement: The soldier class exists to augment previous close-quarter classes such as fighters and only serve to forward melee classes. After taking all levels as soldiers and gaining all possible benefits, it is suggestible to revert to your previous melee class.
Resources: Soldiers train, eat and sleep together, they make strong bonds with other soldiers of their patrol first, but will respect and aid all other members of their regiment. All Soldiers are immediately given standard issue armor and weaponry upon successful application (a mundane breastplate and single masterwork weapon of your choice) both items do not have any initial magical qualities.
Soldiers in the World
|“||"Stop! Surrender your stolen or illicit goods in the name of the King!"||”|
|—Serving at Fort Cliffstake, Le'anthros Deadmire, 2th regiment of the Blackbird Army|
Race: A Soldiers race can greatly vary. However, some military forces may only allow recruits of certain races into active service.
NPC Reactions: If a soldier should come across an NPC of the same faction as the military force they serve, they will be warmly greeted. However in foreign lands it is rare to find such hospitality and may be met with some degree of hostility if they are recognized as foreign soldiers.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge(history) can research soldiers to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|10||Army the chosen soldier fights/fought for (even if they display no signage)|
|15||That soldiers are given highly superior weapons trainings|
|20||The functions and advantages or the many differed specific training types (Drills)|
|25||The specificities of the many different military oaths that soldiers serves under|
Soldiers in the Game
Adaptation: Soldiers can be well adapted into many campaigns.
Sample Encounter: A solitary soldier stops the PCs and orders them to verify the contents of their backpacks and surrender all illegal goods. If they do not comply, he will arrest them and escort them to the nearest garrison. If they do not wish to comply yet again, they will be met with deadly force.
|Male Human Fighter 7/Soldier 7|
|Lawful Neutral Medium Humanoid(Human)|
|Init/Senses||+6/Listen 0, Spot 0|
|AC||18, touch 13, flat-footed 15|
|hp||80 (14 HD)|
|Speed||20 ft. (4 squares) in breastplate, base 30 ft.|
|Melee||Greatsword +17/+12/+7 (2d6+6 19-20/×2)|
|Abilities||Str 16, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10|
|SQ||Drills, Last Stand, War Cry, Intimidating Stance|
|Feats||Weapon Focus (Greatsword), Greater Weapon Focus (Greatsword), Power Attack, Cleave, Great Cleave, Endurance, Diehard, Toughness, Improved Initiative|
|Skills||Climb +5, Heal +6, Intimidate +21, Ride +1, Jump +3, Swim +1|
|Possessions||Breastplate, masterwork Greatsword|
|Drills Skills||Deadly Force (Greatsword), Blind Charge (Greatsword), Heavy Hitting (Greatsword)|
- The specific criteria to apply is up to the discretion of the DM, these may be as open or restrictive as deemed necessary
- The severity and specificity of the oath taken by a recruited soldier is up to the discretion of the DM, this may be as harsh or as lenient as deemed necessary