View Full Version : Vow of Poverty + Survivorman = badass true neutral

2009-08-29, 02:14 PM
Okay, so I was watching Survivorman yesterday after working on a Vow of Poverty ranger/monk and realized he would make an awesome ranger. Problem is, he wouldn't use gear except the most basic survival tools, if anything. He'd basically have Vow of Poverty, except not out of the goodness of his heart. He's just that determined to be a complete badass. So, here we have it.

Forsaking material possessions, the survalist gains badass strength.

Survivalist's Vow
You do not survive to preserve your own life, you survive to spit in the face of nature and anything that failed to survive wherever you go. You fight great monsters and traverse the most dangerous hellscapes in the multiverse without the magical protection many heroes have, just to prove you can. Your resolve and confidence grant you extreme powers of badassitude.
Prerequisite: Self-Sufficient
Benefit: You gain a number of benefits based on your character level. See below for details.
Special: To fulfill your vow to be a true survival badass, you must not own or use any material possessions, with the following exceptions. You may carry and use ordinary (but not masterwork or magical) simple or martial weapons, you may own and wear one ordinary (inexpensive) set of clothing. You may carry enough food to sustain yourself for one day in a simple (nonmagical) sack. You may carry and use a spell component pouch. You may not use any magic item of any sort except those you find as "quest items" (this is up to the DM). You cannot carry around potions and wands to use (though you may carry them around if you feel like being a pack mule), but a friend may use these on you. You might find a cloak that grants immunity to fire in a dragon's lair, which you could use to escape the powerful dragon that guards your objective - but you could not use that cloak outside of that adventure. Similarly, you could not use a +3 keen longsword you found against that dragon. This feat should not be allowed to players who will attempt to abuse the "Quest Item" clause. The point is that you are choosing to not use magical items because you do not want to unless you absolutely must, you are a badass survivalist who does not need them.
Note: The survivalist cannot give his share of the treasure to his allies. He must do something with it that serves no real practical purpose what-so-ever. He may donate it if he pleases, he may have statues of sheep erected, he may fund absurd mad scientists, he may throw it off a building, whatever he pleases. But it cannot aid his survival attempts in any way.

{table=head]Character Level | Benefit
1st | AC Bonus +4, Touch the Sky
2nd | Bonus survival feat
3rd | AC Bonus +5, Endure Elements
4th | Fight for Survival +1 (magic), bonus survival feat
5th | Sustenance, fast healing 1
6th | AC Bonus +6, deflection +1, bonus survival feat
7th | Resistance +1, ability score enhancement +2
8th | Natural armor +1, mind shielding, bonus survival feat
9th | AC Bonus +7, Wilderness Stride, fast healing 2
10th | Fight for Survival +2 (cold iron), DR 5/magic, bonus survival feat
11th | Ability Score Enhancement +4/+2
12th | AC Bonus +8, deflection +2, greater sustenance, bonus survival feat
13th | Resistance +2, energy resistance 5, fast healing 3
14th | Fight for Survival +3, freedom of movement, bonus survival feat
15th | AC Bonus +9, ability score enhancement +6/+4/+2, DR 5/cold iron
16th | Natural armor +2, bonus survival feat
17th | Fight for Survival +4, resistance +3, fast healing 4
18th | AC Bonus +10, deflection +3, true seeing, bonus survival feat
19th | Ability score enhancement +8/+6/+4/+2, DR 10/cold iron
20th | Fight for Survival +5, energy resistance 15, bonus survival feat[/table]

AC Bonus: A 1st-level survivor receives a +4 morale bonus to his AC. This bonus increases to +5 at 3rd level, and thereafter increases by +1 every third level. The survivalist knows he will survive, and this absolute sureness enforces itself on reality.
Touch the Sky: The survivor gets a bonus to Climb and Jump checks equal to twice his character level. In addition, he has no limit to his maximum jumping distance or height. Part of the inspiration to become a survivalist is to get the view from up high.
Bonus Survival Feat: The survivor gains a bonus feat that helps with survival in harsh terrains at every even level. This feat is chosen from the following list.
Acrobatic, Agile, Alertness, Animal Affinity, Athletic, Blind-Fight, Communicator (CA), Dash (CW), Endurance, Eschew Materials, Faster Healing (CW), Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Improved Toughness (CW), Insightful (CA), Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Necropolis Born (CA), Night Haunt (CA), Run, Skill Focus, Soul of the North (CA), Spell Hand (CA), Stealthy, Toughness, Track.
Endure Elements: The 3rd level survivor can exist comfortably in environments between -50 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit without having to make Fortitude saves. Deserts and arctic areas are really very pleasant, once you get used to them.
Fight for Survival: Starting at 4th level the survivor gains an enhancement bonus to all attack and damage rolls, and pierces damage reduction as though his attacks were magical. At 10th level, he pierces damage reduction as though his attacks were imbued with cold iron. A true survivalist knows how to kick ass and take names.
Sustenance: A 5th level survivor doesn't need to eat or drink, though they still can and often will just to prove they can find edible food in bizarre places.
Fast Healing: A 5th level survivor heals 1 hit point per round as long as he is conscious. This rate improves by 1 every 4 levels after 5th. Wound-licking breaks are for wimps, not badass survivalists.
Deflection: Starting at 6th level, the survivor gains a deflection bonus to his armor class. The survivalist is too awesome to easily injure.
Resistance: Starting at 7th level, the survivor gains a resistance bonus to all saving throws. The survivalist develops their inherent ability to survive nasty things as part of their daily life.
Ability Score Enhancement: At 7th level, the survivor gains a +2 enhancement bonus to one ability score. Every 4 levels, the survivor adds a +2 enhancement bonus to all currently enhanced ability scores and adds a +2 enhancement to a new ability score. A survivalist trains his body and mind far quicker than other puny mortals.
Natural Armor: Starting at 8th level the survivor gains a bonus to natural armor. Long periods of crawling through brush and battering themselves against the elements have toughened them to pain.
Mind Shielding: An 8th level survivor is immune to detect thoughts, discern lies, and any attempts to discern his alignment. Attempts to detect thoughts reveal thoughts about wilderness survival at all times, usually about finding "wild edibles."
Wilderness Stride: A 9th level survivor does not suffer any damage or impairment from natural terrain. Extreme examples, such as lava, tsunamis, etc., do not count. The survivor cannot afford to have an eye poked out - such a fate could mean death out here.
Greater Sustenance: A 12th level survivor doesn't need to breathe. This may assist in surviving in a vacuum, such as outer space.
Energy Resistance: A 13th level survivor has resistance against every element. This ability improves according to the table as the survivor increases in level. Wildfires are but an inconvenience now, and perhaps something to save others from - just to show off.
Freedom of Movement: A 14th level survivor is continually affect as though by the freedom of movement spell. What's the point in sitting there doing nothing when you could be out surviving in the River Styx?
Death Ward: A 17th level survivor is immune to magical death effects, takes half damage from negative energy and has a +5 bonus to saving throws against negative levels.
True Seeing: An 18th level survivor has developed the ability to see all things as they really are, as the true seeing spell. Damned faeries can't get me now! Ha ha!

NOTE: All of these abilities are extraordinary, granted purely through the survivalist's baddass nature and absolute resolve to be completely hardcore. None of this prevents them from whining about inconveniences such as clunky, hard to carry devices that send scrying images of the survivalist to commoners and experts across the world.

Epic Survivalist's Vow (WORK IN PROGRESS)
Your ability to survive in hostile environments despite your lack of preparation has reached truly staggering proportions. At this point, you no longer follow the laws of reality. The laws of reality follow you, watching on in amazement as they eat popcorn and cheer you on.
Prerequisites: Character level 21, Survivalist's Vow.
Benefits: Your Survivalist's Vow continues granting you additional benefits through epic levels, as detailed below.

{table=head]Character Level | Benefit
21st | Timeless Body
22nd | ~
23rd | ~
24th | ~
25th | ~
26th | ~
27th | ~
28th | ~
29th | ~
30th | ~

Timeless Body: At 21st level, the survivor no longer ages. Any physical penalties are negated, although mental bonuses remain. The survivor does not die of old age when his time has come - instead, he recognizes that his time has come and escapes death by leaving to survive forever in the Far Realms, fighting Great Old Ones without going mad through sheer virtue of baddassitude.

2009-08-29, 02:23 PM
Hmm. Quite honestly, without the attribute bonus, this is probably unplayable. Even Vow of Poverty is weak on most characters, this is worse.

Edit: wait he has it. I just didn't see it. Apologies.

2009-08-29, 02:34 PM
Any suggestions on how to make it better, then? Partially upgraded in that, the feats are slightly more useful, I think.

2009-08-29, 02:55 PM
You're still missing the #1 weakness of VoP & Tarrasque, flying. Maybe give some awesometastic bonus to Jump & Climb, but flying would be easier...
Maybe something like Raptoran L5-L10 flying, that is limited?

2009-08-29, 03:56 PM
Added Touch the Sky.

2009-08-29, 04:15 PM
He needs an ability that causes him to be unaffected by all terrain (earlier than freedom of movement).

He should also be able to always be considered running for his jumps, and get all the toughness feats automatically.

It looks really, thematically awesome, though.

2009-08-29, 04:44 PM
i'd give him regeneration or fast healing on a per-round basis if anything, and much earlier than 17th level. other than that, cool beans. i like vop-variants.

2009-08-29, 04:47 PM
I'd give him timeless body and some pretty awesome capstone stuff at level 20, like maybe "He is always considered under the effects of the death ward spell and the die hard feat, and he only dies at class level X5 hp under zero, not -10."

2009-08-29, 05:27 PM
Added Fast Healing, Death Ward and Wilderness Stride. Timeless Body will be in Epic Survivalist's Vow.

2009-08-30, 05:22 AM
Pretty cool idea. What class/PrC would you recommend to go with this one?

If only the Extreme Explorer PrC made sense to me... the name sounds so very right.

2009-08-30, 05:54 AM
I would go with the Horizon Walker PrC from the DM.
I think that would fit best.

2009-08-30, 10:22 AM
hypothetically, what if a survivalists use the treasure as say a building material for a temporary shelter or some other none spending way?

2009-08-30, 11:41 AM
They can do that, if they don't use it. They can't do anything with it that actually helps them in a survival sense, though they could erect a statue of themselves in town square.

EDIT: Wait, misread your post. I imagine a temporary shelter made from the dragon's treasure would be fine, yes. heh

2009-12-11, 05:23 PM
WOW great post and great VoP rewrite. I am working on a re write of it now for a desert setting.

I think I am going to combine mine with a class rewrite of monk for a low wisdom Tank type character.

I have a friend who pretty much says it is impossible to make a non-item dependent character and we are playing in a game together with a DM who allows a lot of homebrew, so now is my chance to prove to him it can be done.

Love Les, Love SurvivorMan, and great work on the rewrite I must use it at some point...

Sir Conkey
2009-12-11, 08:27 PM
I would totally play this with either a monk or brawler, just beat the crap outa things with your fists, don't even need a weapon

2009-12-11, 08:49 PM
I love this concept. But you know what I'd love even more? EPIC LEVEL! Hurry up and write it! I've needed epic VoP for a long, long time. Does it really need to be true neutral, though? I could see characters of any alignment seeking to survive by nothing but their own capability.

2010-09-17, 01:01 PM
Energy Immunity to one energy type of choice might be good for Epic Survivalist's Vow. Or maybe getting immunity to more and more energy types as you progress, eventually becoming immune to all. Increased Energy Resistance is a minimum though. You may not wish to keep adding more ability scores given bonuses though, just increase the existing bonuses. Sizable bonuses to 4 ability scores is pretty beefy.

2010-09-17, 01:12 PM
The Red Towel: Thread necromancy.