View Full Version : [PRC, TOB] The Vanguard Champion

2010-03-24, 05:35 AM
It's interesting what you find when you look up all the old stuff on your hard drive. I, for example, have found roughly half a dozen Tome of Battle Prestige classes I wrote before I strated to seriously work on Serpents and Sewers.

I have translated these classes yesterday, and updated them a bit, but really, they are in their core two or three years old. For me, it's somewhat interesting how a few ideas which were later copied in S&S appeared here for the first time. Seriously, these include my first step in homebrewing for D&D.

Now, these are Prestige Classes how I like them: focused on beating people up, and actually quite competent in this field of expertise. If you ask me, the overwhelming majority of prestige classes for the already underrepresented melee fighters are much too weak, especially when compared to *any* prestige class with full caster level progression. Therefore, they might appear a bit powerful when compared to other fighter -specific prestige classes.


Vanguard Champion
Across the world, thousands fight and die for their leaders, causes, and beliefs. For every person who falls in combat there is always another ready to take his place. Many would-be warriors are only simple militiamen, having only the barest training and equipment. Others are professional fighters who have made a full career as a soldier or mercenary. Such highly dedicated units often make or break the fates of the leaders who field them.
The Vanguard Champion is something else again. More than just a veteran campaigner, he is in many ways the ultimate expression of heavy infantry. Able to crush lesser foes aside, Vanguard Champions seek out and eliminate the most formidable opponents in any given battle. Each Vanguard Champion is unique in his weapon choice and habits, but all are the same in their lifelong dedication to melee combat. They always strive to better themselves and their skills with deadly weapons. Even a small number of
Vanguard Champions can make or break a battle with their prowess in combat, either devastating enemy lines or defending small territories. Fortunate are the commanders who have these mighty warriors on their payroll or pledged to their service.
Vanguard Champions are martial initators, who chose one specific discipline and train it to a degree that make even other martial classes wince. They concentrate more on the basics – that is, a perfection of the weapon skills itself, instead of flourished strikes and fancy maneuvers, but their dedication and fortitude are nothing if impressive.

Design Notes:
The Vanguard Champion is the Fighter's fighter: Strong passive abilities, but more limited active abilities. They gain loads of feets for free (and in the way, these might be the only way the Weapon Focus line of feats has something like significance), but since these feats are rather weak, that is not that much of an issue. The Vanguard Champion is a very straightforward class; it is good in beating things up and using weapons. However, it has no fancy extra abilities, and thus has to rely on its slighly slower maneuver development.

HD: D12

BAB: +6
Skills:Balance 9 Ranks, Martial Lore 6 ranks
Feats: Cleave, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (any Stone Dragon or Iron heart discipline weapon)
Maneuvers: One maneuver of third or higher level from the Iron Heart or Stone Dragon discipline, one Iron Heart or Stone Dragon Stance.

Class-Skills: Balance, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (geography) Knowledge (History), Knowledge (nobility and royalty), Listen, Martial Lore, Profession, Ride, Sense Motive, Spot and Swim

Skill-points per level: 4+Int modifier

Table: The Vanguard Champion
1st|+1|+2|+0|+2|Enhanced Weapon Training, Great Cleave|--
2nd|+2|+3|+0|+3|Blade Meditation|+1 level of initiator class
3rd|+3|+3|+1|+3|Improved Weapon Training|+1 level of initiator class
4th|+4|+4|+1|+4|Supreme Cleave|+1 level of initiator class
5th|+5|+4|+1|+4|Bonus Feat|+1 level of initiator class
6th|+6|+5|+2|+5|Secret Training|+1 level of initiator class
7th|+7|+5|+2|+5|Greater Weapon Training|+1 level of initiator class
8th|+8|+6|+2|+6|Bonus Feat|+1 level of initiator class
9th|+9|+6|+3|+6|Weapon Training Perfection|+1 level of initiator class
10th|+10|+7|+3|+7|Ultimate Weapon Training|+1 level of initiator class

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: The Vanguard Champion gains no new weapon or armor proficiencies.

Disciplines: At each level except the 1st, the Vanguard Champion gains new maneuvers, stances or readied maneuvers and an increase in his initiator level as if he had also gained a level in the initiator class he followed before. He does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. The level were the character does not increase his number of maneuvers still count fully for the initiator level and can be used to exchange a learned maneuver if it is an even initiator level.
For example, a 6th level warblade / 10th level Vanguard Champion has the same maneuver known and readied as a 15th level warblade.

Special: The class levels in the Vanguard Champion Prestige Classes are added to Fighter or Warblade levels to determine if the character qualifies for a feat. The Vanguard Champion must qualify for any bonus feats as usual.

Chosen Discipline: The Vanguard Champion must chose between the Iron Heart or Stone Dragon Discipline. He gains all of the following class abilities only for one of these two disciplines. Once chosen, the picked discipline cannot be changed afterwards.

Enhanced Weapon Training (ex): The Vanguard Champion is considered familiar with either all Iron Heart or all Stone Dragon discipline weapons and is considered to have the weapon focus feat for all these weapons as well.

Great Cleave: Vanguard Champions are used to fight against superior odds, and to fight effectively against them. They gain Great Cleave as a Bonus Feat at 1st level

Blade Meditation: At second level, a Vanguard Champion gains Blade Meditation for the Iron Heart or Stone Dragon discipline as a bonus feat.

Bonus Feat: At 5th and 8th level, the Vanguard Champion gains a bonus feat from the fighter feat list.

Improved Weapon Training (ex): The Vanguard Champion gains the Weapon Specialization for all discipline weapons of the Iron Heart or Stone Dragon Discipline.

Supreme Cleave (ex): At 4th level, a Vanguard Champion who wields a discipline weapon can take a 5 foot step before he attacks when he uses the cleave or great cleave feats. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity. However, the Vanguard Champion cannot use this ability to move more than his current speed in a single round.

Secret Training (ex): The Vanguard Champion gains Slashing Flurry or Crushing Strike as a bonus feat. The abilities of this feat can only be used with weapons of his chosen discipline.

Greater Weapon Training (ex): The Vanguard Champion is considered to have the Greater Weapon Focus Feat with all Iron Heart or Stone Dragon discipline weapons (for a total +2 bonus to the attack rolls).

Weapon Training Perfection (ex): The Vanguard Champion is considered to have the Greater Weapon Specialization Feat with all discipline weapons of his chosen discipline.

Ultimate Weapon Training (ex): The Vanguard Champion is considered to have the Weapon Supremacy feat with all weapons of either the Iron Heart or the Stone Dragon Discipline.

2010-03-26, 08:04 AM
Other then the last one I think your good on this one.
I like it, others may not.

But I would use it.

2010-03-26, 08:31 AM
It's a very simple class. It is not very good, because the only special thing it can do is the extra step when cleaving, but it is a very solid and "reliable" prestige class, and still gets the maneuvers to do at least some fancy things.

Admittedly, the Vanguard Champion was the class I built for me to play myself. I know it is not that strong, but hey, it hits hard with a big sword. In this regard, I am pretty simple-minded. I like hitting things with big swords, and I like a class that is supposedly the best in hitting things hard with a big sword.