View Full Version : Underdog (PrC)

2008-01-16, 04:40 AM

Kyktrylli was the first of the defenders to hit the floor. The human's sword left him bleeding and in great pain, but he could fight on if he chose to. Instead, he closed his eyes and tried not to listen to the screams of his comrades as they died in droves. After a few dreadful minutes, he sat up and stared at the site of the massacre. The little broken bodies of the other kobolds lay strewn about the area. His tribe had fought bravely while he lay still like a coward.

Something in the darkness caught the movement, and an arrow (surely belonging to that damnable elf) connected with his chest, piercing his armor and causing great pain. As he felt the life ebb out of him, something awoke within, and he shot forward, dagger in hand. The elven archer was down in a flash, and it wasn't long before he found the mage. His blade found a kidney, a hand, a cheek--the pain inflicted was probably worse than the severity of the injuries, but pain and damage served the same purpose. In moments her crumpled body lay behind him, a spell still on her lips.

The human was too late to save his comrades, but seeing this little monster slaughter his friends was enough to send him charging down the tunnel. His longsword flashed in the torchlight as it impaled the little creature, who went still but stayed standing. A clawed hand gripped the hilt of his sword, wrapping around his fingers, holding them in place, and the fighter was helpless to watch as the broken little kobold dragged itself forward until its weight was resting on him and its knife was buried in his neck.

Gargoyles picking over the remains would later joke about the futility of a fight where nobody really wins.

The Underdog is a perpetual loser--someone who just doesn't get it. Life has trampled him into the dirt, but he keeps coming back for more. But somewhere buried in the depths of every loser is a real survivor, and for the underdog, it shows.
Typically, Underdogs are rogues or bards who have been kicked around since they were born. Occasionally fighters, rangers, or barbarians will take the Underdog's route, as Underdogs are right at home moving in and out of the thick of battle. Spellcasters make poor candidates for this path.


Class Skills: Balance, Bluff, Climb, Craft, Diplomacy, Disable Device, Disguise, Escape Artist, Heal, Hide, Jump, Knowledge (local), Knowledge (Dungeoneering), Listen, Move Silently, Open Lock, Peform, Profession, Search, Sleight of Hand, Spot, Swim, Tumble, Use Magic Device, Use Rope
Hit Die: d6
Skill points per level: 6+int mod

Requirements: +1d6 sneak attack OR combat reflexes feat, +6 BaB, must have been reduced to 0 or less HP at least once in a real fight.

Dirty Fighting (ex): By striking painful areas, hurling insults, and just being generally vicious, any time the Underdog hits an opponent on an attack of opportunity, or any time the underdog's opponent is flat-footed, flanked, or in any way denied his dexterity bonus, he adds his dirty fighting dice as nonlethal damage to the attack. This ability only works on targets with discernible anatomy who would normally be subject to nonlethal damage, and in all other ways follows the rules for sneak attack, except it is ALSO applied on an attack of opportunity.

Feign Death (ex): When struck, the Underdog can, as a swift action, pretend to be slain by the attack. The Underdog adds his underdog level to his bluff modifier and makes a contested roll vs any observers' spot checks. If the Underdog's total is higher, the observer believes him to be dead and will act accordingly. A heal check (DC 10, or 15 if the underdog's hp is less than 1/2 its normal total) will reveal that the Underdog is alive, but holding very still.

You're coming with me! (ex): As a swift action, when reduced to less than 0 HP (but not slain) by a melee attack, the Underdog can choose to take an additional 1/2 the attacker's weapon damage in order to immediately make a full attack. This attack can only be applied to the attacker who downed him. At the end of the attack, if the underdog would be slain by the additional 1/2 damage, he first completes the attack, then dies. The Underdog becomes unconscious immediately following the attack regardless of whether or not he has the Diehard feat.

Born Loser (ex): The Underdog takes a permanent -2 luck penalty on all saves.

Hidden reserve (ex): While shaken, fatigued, unconscious, staggered, nauseated, sickened, confused, or dazed, the Underdog gains a +6 luck bonus to all saves (totalling to +4 due to Born Loser), temporary HP equal to the Underdog Level times two, and is immune to nonlethal damage. These bonuses last 10 minutes or until the effects that caused them end, and damage taken is applied first to the temporary HP as with a Barbarian's rage effect.

Opportunist (ex): Adjacent targets who take damage from a melee attack provoke an attack of opportunity from the Underdog. This counts as the Underdog's attack of opportunity for that round, and can only be done once per round even if the Underdog has the Combat Reflexes feat. If the Underdog already has this ability from Rogue levels, he may use it one additional time per round.

Improved Cowardice (ex): An Underdog using cover or concealment gains an additional 30% of the cover or concealment's effect.

Desperation (ex): When reduced to 1/10th or less of his max HP, the Underdog becomes desperate, fighting with incredible vigor and heroic resolve. His strength increases by four, he gains a +4 dodge bonus to his AC, he gains a +4 competence bonus to his attack rolls, and he gains his dirty fighting bonus on every attack even if not using his sneak attack or attack of opportunity. This ability lasts for four minutes or until the Underdog's hit points are restored to more than 1/10th of their total.

lv BAB / FS / RS / WS /
1 / +0 / +0 / +2 / +0 / Born loser, Feign Death
2 / +1 / +0 / +3 / +0 / Dirty Fighting (+1d6)
3 / +2 / +1 / +3 / +1 / Desperation
4 / +3 / +1 / +4 / +1 / Dirty Fighting (+2d6)
5 / +3 / +1 / +4 / +1 / You're coming with me!
6 / +4 / +2 / +5 / +2 / Dirty Fighting (+3d6)
7 / +5 / +2 / +5 / +2 / Improved Cowardice, Hidden Reserve
8 / +6 / +2 / +6 / +2 / Dirty Fighting (+4d6)
9 / +6 / +3 / +6 / +3 / Opportunist
10/ +7 / +3 / +7 / +3 / Dirty Fighting (+5d6)

2008-01-16, 05:35 AM
A few suggestions.

#1. This class for the first five levels is basically "ZOMG, Rogue with extra stuff". The character is trading 2 skill points per level for better than normal sneak attack, and a few other abilities. Sure he also gained -2 on all saves, but the +2 reflex from the first level of the class offset the loss in the only save rogues are good at in the first place. Actually, looking at it again, the whole class is Rogue with extra stuff, you fooled me at that part where it doesn't sneak attack 2 levels in a row.

#2. The BAB progression for the class you showed isn't a valid D&D BAB progression.

#3. Standard design rules don't allow for a sneak attack die on the first level of a prestige class (the few exceptions are all classes that have significant non-rogue requirements to entry). This is to keep characters from getting ahead of the sneak attack curve. In the case of a 10 level prestige class that gets all 5 sneak dice that means they would come on all the even numbered levels.

#4. Desperation comes into play at a pretty high level, and because of that fact is likely to interact poorly with hidden reserve. A rogue to Underdog PC would be getting this ability at 16 level and would likely have about 104 hit points, 10 percent of which would be 10 hit points. It is exceptionally rare to see a character of that level under 10 hit points who isn't dead or unconscious (and the unconscious ones would actually spring back up past 10 hit points from "Hidden Reserve").

2008-01-16, 06:38 AM
Whoops. I reshuffled things and fixed the BAB issue.

I made this a while ago and I guess I didn't think about the sneak attack/dirty fighting issue because nonlethal damage is inherently inferior to regular damage. Now that I think about it, though, a rogue couldn't sneak attack anything that wouldn't be hurt by nonlethal damage, so it's very nearly as good.

The idea with hidden reserve was to keep the character on his feet and able to act while not giving him much of a defensive bonus. An unconscious character springing back into action for one last desperate stand (IE that moment when the hero is dying, but staggers back to make a final attack against the villain before eating it) is exactly what I had in mind.

I arbitrarily scooted it back to fill a gap the restructuring of dirty fighting created. I am kind of tired but I don't think it'll break anything if I do that.

2008-01-16, 06:15 PM
I would give them some sort of actual advantage at the first level, rather than having it be a net negative really that is just an investment to get to the higher levels of the class.

2008-01-16, 08:06 PM
I moved Feign Death back, as it's a pretty weak ability (basically a skill trick).