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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Helm Hammerhand, 9th King of Rohan. Any thoughts?

    Helm Hammerhand

    Legendary ninth King of Rohan. Helm was a man of great strength and valor. He was born in 2691. His father was King Gram and he had a sister named Hild. Helm had two sons - Haleth and Hama - and at least one daughter. Helm became King of Rohan after the death of his father in 2741.
    In 2754, Helm refused to give his daughter's hand in marriage to Wulf, son of Freca - a Man of Rohan who was akin to the Men of Dunland. Freca was an untrustworthy man who sought power for himself and ignored the King's rule. He was enraged by Helm's refusal and insulted him. Helm responded by slaying Freca with one blow from his mighty fist. Thereafter he was known as Helm Hammerhand.

    Freca's son Wulf invaded Rohan in 2758 and captured Edoras. Helm's son Haleth died defending Meduseld, the King's hall. After suffering a great defeat at the Fords of Isen, Helm and his people took refuge in the stronghold that became know as Helm's Deep. They were besieged there during the Long Winter of November 2758 to March 2759. After Yule their supplies ran low and they were starving. Helm's son Hama went out in search of food and never returned.

    The loss of his sons and the need of his people made Helm grow fierce. He began go out alone, dressed in all white, to raid the enemy camps and kill any Dunlendings he encountered. Each time he sounded his great horn, and his foes fled in terror. The Dunlendings believed that Helm could not be touched by any weapon and that he killed with his bare hands, and they began the false rumor that he ate his victims.

    One night in 2759, Helm left Helm's Deep and did not return. His men found him at dawn, standing frozen on Helm's Dike. When the Long Winter ended, Helm's nephew Frealaf drove out the invaders and became King of Rohan. Helm was buried in the last mound of the first line of Kings outside Edoras. The simbelmyne grew thickest on Helm's burial mound, covering it like a blanket of snow.




    I was re-reading the passages regarding Helm, and I was once again fascinated by that figure. While the paragraph above (source tucborough) hints that Helm's invulnerability in battle so long as he did not wield a weapon himself might have been a rumor, I was wondering how to render the figure of a mighty warrior who, in his senior years (past 65) could still do solo raids into enemy lines, and kill a warriors like Freca with one punch. We all know that freak accidents happen, especially if a big man punches another man on the temple or if the the victims falls and hits his head against a hard surface, but this is a fantasy world...

    So, what would Helm, age 68, be, in D20? Let's imagine that we are taking a high fantasy approach, so Helm is in fact a high level character, and Freca isn't just a Level 2 Warrior or worse, a Commoner....

    Any suggestion on how to build him without just using a "Level X fighter"? I had in mind "Improved Unarmed Strike", "Weapon focus (unarmed)" and "Weapon Specialization (Unarmed)" with "Power Attack" and Improved Critical" (unarmed). But that builds upon just 1d3+STR+2 damage. Sure, with PA and a
    crit, he could kill a normal man (say 1d3+2+3, x2, max damage = 14 HP) but to go into battle with just that seems foolhardy at best. Perhaps 1 level dip in Ranger with Favorite Enemy: Humanoid (man). He also had this "fear" affect, so a skill focus in Intimidate would be quite all right to me.

    Cheers,

    Ossian


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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Helm Hammerhand, 9th King of Rohan. Any thoughts?

    Well, you need Superior Unarmed Strike from ToB at least. It builds up unarmed damage to match up to weapons.
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    Default Re: Helm Hammerhand, 9th King of Rohan. Any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ossian View Post
    but this is a fantasy world...

    So, what would Helm, age 68, be, in D20? Let's imagine that we are taking a high fantasy approach, so Helm is in fact a high level character, and Freca isn't just a Level 2 Warrior or worse, a Commoner....
    Here's the thing: base D&D/D20 doesn't model Tolkien's world well at all (especially by the time the Third Age rolled around). E6 might have a shot with severely restricted class/spell list options.
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    Default Re: Helm Hammerhand, 9th King of Rohan. Any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingTarget View Post
    Here's the thing: base D&D/D20 doesn't model Tolkien's world well at all (especially by the time the Third Age rolled around). E6 might have a shot with severely restricted class/spell list options.
    Fair enough, but we can take just a few bits from D20 as long as we don't have to hammer them too hard to make them fit. After all, Helm almost belongs to the age of Myth when compared to the War of the Ring days (2700 Vs 3019 Third Age). Fighters, Knights, Cavaliers, Rogues, Marshals, Rangers, to some extent even Bards and the Paladins (especially if you turn them into Prestige Classes and re-fluff them to fit with Tolkien, see Aragorn's "lay on hands" only with a material component required (Athelas)). Sorcerors are all right too, though they are but a bunch and whoever uses magic (from the cantrips to time stopping spells) suffers (proportionally) some kind of corruption / spiritual erosion damage.

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    Default Re: Helm Hammerhand, 9th King of Rohan. Any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ossian View Post
    Fair enough, but we can take just a few bits from D20 as long as we don't have to hammer them too hard to make them fit. After all, Helm almost belongs to the age of Myth when compared to the War of the Ring days (2700 Vs 3019 Third Age).
    That's why E6 has a shot. Using that D20 variant a 6th level character is the legendary sort. Even then, I'd say that a mere 300 years ago is hardly the Age of Myth.

    Fighters, Knights, Cavaliers, Rogues, Marshals, Rangers, to some extent even Bards and the Paladins (especially if you turn them into Prestige Classes and re-fluff them to fit with Tolkien, see Aragorn's "lay on hands" only with a material component required (Athelas)). Sorcerors are all right too, though they are but a bunch and whoever uses magic (from the cantrips to time stopping spells) suffers (proportionally) some kind of corruption / spiritual erosion damage.
    I'm not sure that a Paladin is the way to mimic Aragorn's healing abilities. At least, LoH isn't what he's doing with Athelas - it's more like Remove Curse as it's dealing with the Black Breath and Frodo's injury by the Morgul Knife, but even then we're blurring the lines between "magic" and medicine. This is also tied into his divine heritage (descended from Melian) and possibly his possession of the Elfstone (at least after Lothlorien).

    If anybody is a Paladin, I'd say that Gandalf the White has the best claim.

    Edit - anyway, back on topic: I think that the Improved Unarmed Strike feat is a must since it 1) allows him to deal lethal damage with his fists and 2) causes him to not provoke AOOs when he attacks an armed foe while unarmed.

    I don't know ToB myself, but what I can find online is that with the Improved feat and a +3 BAB as prereqs, Superior Unarmed Strike just improves the damage of your unarmed strikes, dunno the exact numbers, though. Fighter is probably is the way to go for Helm in my opinion.

    A dip into Ranger might be good, not sure about the favored enemy bit necessarily, but just for the survival skills he seems to have.

    Another edit - Oooo, a dip into Barbarian for the Rage thing might be good too (he was pretty pissed for the "hammerhand" encounter).
    Last edited by WalkingTarget; 2010-03-05 at 11:12 AM.
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    Default Re: Helm Hammerhand, 9th King of Rohan. Any thoughts?

    You have totally read my mind on that.

    I figured he starts as Barbarian (variant: bear totem) as he is the kind of wild and untamed fighter, with a rather uncouth fighting style that, over the years, gets refined by the military campaigns. Bear totem gives two feats (great fortitude and toughness) which while kinda weak do fit the concept, but also Improved Grapple for free, and a beautiful + 4 to grapple checks while raging.
    The lost Barbarian abilities he didn't seem to have anyway.

    Alternating the levels (1 and 1) he gets to his senior years as a Barbarian 5/Fighter 4. At this point he know his lands like the back of his hand, he is an accomplished rider and has maxed ranks in intimidate.

    Through these levels, he gets the superior unarmed strike, and the "overwhelming assault" or something like that (still ToB) which gives you a +1d6 damage to your first attack. Add the weapon specialization (+2 damage) and power attack and, while raging, he can do some serious damage with a good armored gauntlet (just for the heck of it).

    If I can put in also the "improved critical - unarmed" and a feat which was connected to the stunning fist (still ToB, can't recall now) he can really become nasty. In fact, with a critical, he could have easily killed a guy like Fréca, if we don't stat him too as a major badass and use a few variant rules on "massive damage".

    A dip in Marshal would be good for his role as a leader (like a 2 level dip) and a 1 level dip in ranger to represent his dunlending hunter obsession, to get favored enemy - Human. Favored power attack would be sweet at that point, but I am not sure if I have enough feat slots in 12 levels (and I feel a bit weird about the wild multiclassing) but hey, I think I am getting there.

    O.

    EDIT: just remembered. The feat was Fists Of Iron (x times a day a certain bonus to unarmed damage, like +1d6 or something) which requires stunning fist. I might have to drop Improved Critical for that. Still, it adds up to

    BAB would be +12, and all in all the attack would come at +17...


    ...so, 1d8 (sup. unarmed strike) + 1d6 (fists of iron) + 1d6 (the overwhelming attack thing) +2 (weapon specialization) + 2 (favored enemy) +3 (strength bonus) + 1 (metal gauntlet) = 11-28 ("20 crit", x2) unarmed damage, without power attack and without rage. With an average damage of 18, it is good to mown lots of dunland mooks down, and it can be pretty dangerous for expert fighters too.

    I wonder if there is a way of boosting this a little though.



    O.
    Last edited by Ossian; 2010-03-08 at 08:41 AM.
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