View Full Version : Meet Sam Vimes

2009-12-03, 06:19 PM
Hi, so, I created a class based on the ideas of Sir Terry Pratchett's AMCW books, the Watchman. I think it is third or fourth tier, and quite playable. There are a few tough bits, like that they gain many class features only against those who they witness commiting a crime, and they must always try to capture, not kill, but overall I think it could be fun.

{table=head]Level|Base Attack<br>Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

+2|Dirty fighting: groin kick, run

+2|Improvised weapon proficiency (+1d6)



+4|Lesser Beast, Dirty fighting: throat punch

+4|Improved grapple, Improvised weapon (+1d8)

+5|Improved trip

+5|Still mind

+6|Uncanny dodge

+6|Dirty fighting: arm shatter, Improvised weapon (+1d10)


+7|Smite 1/day


+8|Evasion, Improvised weapon (+2d6)

+9|Dirty fighting: sneak attacks

+9|Incorruptible will,

+10|Hide in plain sight

+10|Smite 2/day, Improvised weapon (+2d8)

+11|Defensive roll

+12|Dirty fighting: versatility, Greater beast[/table]

Here is the info for the class. Sorry about any grammar errors, they must have gotten past my spell check.

The Watchman

D8 hit die

Any nonevil (usually neutral, but for evil coppers, consult some other class.)

weapon proficiencies
A watchman is proficient with light shields, all armor but plate and short swords, saps, koshes, brass knuckles, all crossbows, any racial weapons, knives, and clubs.

Skills 4+int mod (knowledge (local), intimidate, bluff, forgery, tumble, spot, listen, search, sense motive, jump, profession copper, hide, move silently, sleight of hand)

Feats: a watchman gains bonus feats at various levels. This encompasses Run at first, track at third, imp. Grapple at fifth, and improved trip at sixth.

Dirty fighting: during your time with the corrupt street monsters of your town, you have gained some ethical problems. You have no hesitation to fight dirtily.

At first level you can kick any corporeal, male creature in a special spot. You take a minus four to hit because of the precision needed, but upon hitting, make the enemy fall prone for two rounds, able to roll five feet a round, and unable to take any actions without a concentration check of twice the damage dealt. After this, the enemy takes a penalty to speed and all movement of ten feet, but makes you their primary enemy, always. All charisma based checks other than intimidate take a -15 penalty as long as they can remember this.

At fifth, you can make a punch to a throat. Attacking with any bludgeoning weapon and taking a minus six to hit, you bash any breathing enemy in their throat. They cannot breath for a number of rounds equal to your strength. If this exceeds their con, they must make fortitude save (dc 15, plus 1 every round) against unconsciousness for d20 rounds, minimum five. During this time, they are considered flatfooted, and can only take one standard action and move action per round.

At tenth, they can, after a successful grapple check, attempt to sunder an arm or other body part with a number of hit points of the constitution of the enemy and a hardness of the modifier. They use any bludgeoning weapon or make a strength check and twist the limb into oblivion. It is then broken. That arm is unusable, and the enemy must make a concentration check to avoid use anything more than a single standard action action until they receive some sort of healing. using gestures for spells is impossible, and casters must make concentration checks every round.

At fifteenth, they can make sneak attacks a number of times equal to the available dirty fighting abilities per day as if they were a rogue of their level minus four. This cannot be used when in beast, and only can be nonlethal.

At twentieth, they can use abilities similar to these on any creature, as long as they have a way to make contact.

Improvised weapon proficiency; no longer penalties for improvised weapons, and gains a specific bonus to damage. This starts as +1d4 and moves up a die size every fourth level. You can cause nonlethal damage only, but it is not subject to immunization to nonlethal damage..

Lesser beast: whenever fighting an evil enemy who has shown the evil manner in some way to the watchman at any point, the copper gains the benefits of a rage equal to a barbarian of equal level. This is usable once per battle against the causer(s) of the beast, and lasts the whole encounter. However, all damage dealt is nonlethal. You also gain the DR of the barbarian temporarily.

Still mind: A watchman of eighth level or higher gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against spells and effects from the school of enchantment.

Uncanny dodge: Starting at 9th level, a watchman can react to danger before her senses would normally allow you to do so. The watchman retains the Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if you are caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, The watchamn still loses the Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.

If a Watchamn already has uncanny dodge from a different class you automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead.

Beast: Whenever you are in a condition that meets the prerequisites for lesser beast, you gain the ability to gore as a Minotaur and rake as a tiger with your improvised and cop weapons. You are able to leap up to ten feet onto the enemy without provoking AoOs, providing you succeed on a DC 15 jump check, and a DC 10 strength check, failing one provokes an AoO, and two makes you lose your rake abilities for that attack. You gain the power attack feat for that time, and the awesome blow monster feat. After using this ability, you take one point of intelligence and constitution damage, and are both fatigued and exhausted. This stacks with lesser beast, and you still must inflict nonlethal damage.

Smite: you gain the ability to bundle up all of your pent up anger and lash out at an enemy. The watchamn adds your level plus your charisma bonus. This is as the crusader, but instead of alignment being the prerequisite for the smiting; the smitee must have committed a crime You are clearly aware of.

Evasion: At 2nd level and higher, a watchman can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If the watchamn makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, you instead take no damage. Evasion can be used only if the watchman is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless watchman does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Incorruptible will: your wisdom modifier a day, you can autosave on anything that warrants a will save, or auto succeed on a sense motive check. You are a true Vimesian copper.

Hide in plain sight; whenever nearby a shadow (within ten feet), you can blend in and make a hide check, even if you are being observed. At night, there does not need to be a shadow.

Defensive roll: The watchman can roll with a potentially lethal blow to take less damage from it than they otherwise would. Once per day, when the watchamn would be reduced to 0 or fewer hit points by damage in combat (from a weapon or other blow, not a spell or special ability),you can attempt to roll with the damage. To use this ability, the watchman must attempt a Reflex saving throw (DC = damage dealt). If the save succeeds, you take only half damage from the blow; if it fails, you take full damage. The watchman must be aware of the attack and able to react to it in order to execute her defensive rollóif the watchman is denied the Dexterity bonus to AC, you canít use this ability. Since this effect would not normally allow a character to make a Reflex save for half damage, the watchamn's evasion ability does not apply to the defensive roll.

Greater Beast: You knock the enemy unconscious on a critical hit, and anything else with a bludgeoning weapon initiates a grapple check, with no AoOs. All standard actions the enemy uses grant you an AoO, and all attempts to escape or move away grant you a move action and a bull rush attempt. You gain a bonus to strength equal to your level divided by four, rounding up. After this, You have used up so much pent up energy that you must make a fortitude save equal to the rounds spent as Beast against unconciousness.

Ex coppers: any watchman who willing fully kills an innocent person for a self serving purpose is out, and loses everything other than dirty fighting, the feats, and hide in plain sight. Willing fully killing an untried evil person or criminal when not in immediate life threatening danger loses all but dirty fighting, the feats, and HiPS until atonement takes place. Taking a (large) bribe loses the beast and still mind and incorruptible will. Any multiclassing is permitted, but the copper must have the most levels to be able to return to the watchman class.

so, what do you think? suggestions?
By the way, this is primarily intended for a city based campaign.

2009-12-03, 06:51 PM
Bold Tags and Line Breaks are your friend. That block of text is way to much of a block of text to read. Consider reformatting it and you might get more responses.

Cheers. :smallsmile:

The Gilded Duke
2009-12-03, 09:15 PM
I like the idea however some parts of it need some polishing.
There is no DC or damage requirement for Arm Break to work, also perhaps it could instead work on any limb, pseudopods, tentacles etc.

Also the beast seems a bit too rules heavy.

Strangely, Groin Kick will be amazing against barbarians who cannot make concentration checks while raging. I think that fits well with the novels.

2009-12-03, 09:55 PM
What could I do to simplify Beast?

The Gilded Duke
2009-12-03, 10:30 PM
Lesser Beast

Making it unwilling is pretty rough, more of a flaw then a class feature. Even Frenzied Berserkers start their frenzy by choice. Also forcing nonlethal damage can be rough when you are fighting things that are immune to nonlethal damage such as constructs or undead.

As it is right now it looks like the class can only do nonlethal when under the thrall of the Beast, at all other times they have to take the -4 penalty or use a nonlethal weapon.

Maybe give them the ability to do nonlethal damage at no penalty at some point during their progression?

Forcing someone to act as if their intelligence is lower is pretty harsh, and also would be hard to enforce and rule on.


And then with the improved beast
While Rake and Gore are nice, you don't list the damage.
You also don't specify if Gore is a primary or secondary natural attack.
Also, when does Vimes Gore?
A slam attack might make more thematic sense.
Also, which weapons are defined as cop weapons?

Also dictating actions seems like a bad idea. Barbarian rage doesn' tell them what to do, it just tells them what they can't do. Try switching over to something similar?

Also, Fatigue + Exhaustion + Int and Wis Damage is a lot of penalty.
Rage just gets you Fatigue.

I like the gaining Power Attack and Awesome Blow during the Beast bit, however Awesome Blow seems better suited for a Librarian class.

Greater Beast

Does the unconscious without a save ability affect creatures immune to critical hits?

It sounds like you also gain the improved grab ability with all weapons.
Maybe change it to all natural weapons, unarmed strikes, and improvised weapons? Hard to see Vimes grappling someone with a sword.

The free move action and the AOO are pretty powerful, maybe rephrase it something like this:

Spellcasters within reach cannot use combat casting to avoid your attacks of opportunities. Five foot steps and Withdraw actions provoke attack of opportunities.

But you would still be limited to your normal 1 Attack of Opportunity per round (unless you picked up combat reflexes)

Now, the last part is problematic
Are you saying that you have enough time to take 20 on a use rope check?
Taking 20 on Use Rope would normally take about 2 minutes.
Or does this allow you to get a result of 20 on a full round action?

What happens after you are done, or if you use Manacles instead?
It sounds like you fall asleep?
What if you are a race that doesn't sleep, like an Elf or a Warforged?
Or if you are just using Discworld races a Golem?

Why are you automatically aware of the escape attempt while asleep? Is this still from the Beast affect?

Also it sounds like the Beast mechanic is based on the Barbarian rage ability. Barbarian rage doesn't let you use many dexterity based skills, including use rope.

Now you mentioned early on that this goes into affect only against a single entity. What happens if you encounter two such enemies? Do you act as normal against enemies that don't trigger the beast?

Also, I understand that you are wanting to make a Watch based class, but besides gaining run as a bonus feat this seems to have little to do with the Watch as a whole, and more to do with Vimes in particular. I couldn't see Carrot or Nobby having levels in this class.

I'm not sure if you have ever read The Truth, but a character in there, Mr. Tulip, seems to have a fighting style very reminiscent of Vimes' beast. Perhaps instead of a Watchman class, you could have a "Beast" class, perhaps best as a prestige class.

Also if you are going for Vimes he should get Tremorsense while wearing light or no armor.

2009-12-04, 07:56 AM
Okay, more updated. What do you think? What tier is it?
Oh, and by the way, I think Nobby and possibly colon gave five or so levels in it. And most of the coppers of the book night watch.

The Gilded Duke
2009-12-04, 09:48 AM
It looks much cleaner now then before. I think the any bludgeoning was a nice way to figure out which weapons could be used with the grapple ability.

I guess the next problem that is showing up is that many of your abilities reference other classes, or don't specify damage or DC.

So starting out:
Dirty Fighting: Groin Kick, has no save DC. It is easy to hit enemies with a -2 to attack, and having this automatically work every time you do is incredibly powerful. Maybe add a fort save of 10 + Half Class Level + Strength Mod

Dirty Fighting: Throat Punch, also has no save DC. This one doesn't have a penalty to attack, just requiring a bludgeoning weapon. I also believe you can hold your breath a number of rounds equal to your constitution score not your constitution modifier. Also, Flatfooted and only Standard or Move is very powerful.

How about using a fort save of 10 + Half Class Level + Strength Mod again, and have it be that they can't breath for a number of rounds equal to your strength modifier, and are also unable to speak or use verbal components for that time.

Dirty Fighting, Sunder Arm looks a lot better, however the concentration check to take any action is pretty powerful. Also there is no listed DC for the concentration check. What you might do with this one and Groin Kick is whenever the enemy performs an action that requires concentration (say spellcasting) they must make a concentration check against the damage dealt with the Groin Kick or Sunder Arm attack (10+Damage Dealt) in addition to any other concentration checks required. Have the concentration effect last for a number of rounds equal to your strength mod?

Improvised Weapon Proficiency looks great.

For Still Mind, Evasion, Defensive Roll and Uncanny dodge could you write down the information here so people don't have to reference other classes?

Also could you write out Smite?
I assume it is +Cha to hit and + Class level to damage, but only on those who are guilty and only on melee attacks?

2009-12-04, 09:52 AM
I'd probably specify that creatures need a discernible anatomy for Groin Kick. On the other hand, groin kicking skeletons and gelatinous cubes is hilarious.

2009-12-04, 12:11 PM
FAtigue and exhaustion are mutually exclusive conditions normally. I would make it "Exhausted except that the penalties are X and Y, instead of the usual A and B". I like creative mechanics, but that just seems like it would create a lot of confusion.

2009-12-04, 02:55 PM
The basic idea of the groin kick ability is just to hit somewhere that goes squash and causes a LOT of pain, so on a creature (that is not mindless) it would be anything from the solar plexus to a particularly squishy bit of jelly. However until twentieth level, this must be the groin, and not anything else.
Also, i bet that all males here would agree that being kicked there by someone with 16 strength woul make it very defficult to do anything other than roll up into a ball and whimper.