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The Companion, a Base Class of Teamwork [PEACH]The Companion
“What’s he do? I’m sorry but I don’t quite think I could tell you. It’s not that the lad’s done nothing, mind. If anything, it’s the opposite. He’s done a lot for me… for all of us… more than I could ever do proper justice. When he’s around, we don’t argue as much… we get more done… he sees things we’ve missed or overlooked. But mostly, he’s just there. He’s there every night lookin’ out for danger… there every morning helping us as we study and train… there in every battlefield, running ‘mongst demons and liches and who knows what else tryin’ his damn best to help us. He could still be resting back on his farm but he chose to come with us and he’s been there whenever we’ve needed him. So next time you think of insulting a ‘hireling’, remember that you can’t judge a book by its cover.”
-Aarun Blackrock, on Hamil Smith
Despite what myths and legends suggest, not every hero need pick up a sword. Neither must they be versed in arcane lore or be devoted to faith. While common folk cling to these stories of epic warfare and witchcraft, to yarns of silver-tongued rogues and gold-hearted champions, few would ever suspect that a rare few heroes may look and act exactly as themselves. A companion, by most measures, is a man of common means and ability. No blades do they swing nor spells do they cast. What elevates the companion above and beyond his peers, however, are a combination of circumstances and nature. Chosen by fate, or so would claim those to romanticize their tales, companions are those who find themselves entrenched in matters of the world well over their own heads, kept alive by virtue of their wits and the friends they find themselves among. Beyond that, something about the presence and virtues of a companion helps to bring a group that much closer together, fighting and acting as extensions of one another as they accomplish great deeds. While few would recount the deeds of companions in song, few are the groups with a companion in their midst who fail to realize the influence such an otherwise normal fellow has had.
Hit Die: d6
All skills are treated as class skills for the companion.
Skill Points at 1st Level: (6 + Int modifier) × 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6 + Int modifier
1st|+0|+0|+0|+2|Chosen Allies, Joint Triumphs (Minor Triumphs)
3rd|+1|+1|+1|+3|Common Goal I
5th|+2|+1|+1|+4|Joint Triumphs (Lesser Triumphs)
7th|+3|+2|+2|+5|Group Training (1 feat)
9th|+4|+3|+3|+6|Joint Triumphs (Major Triumphs)
11th|+5|+3|+3|+7|Common Goal II
13th|+6/+1|+4|+4|+8|Joint Triumphs (Awesome Triumphs)
15th|+7/+2|+5|+5|+9|Group Training ( 2 feats)
17th|+8/+3|+5|+5|+10|Joint Triumphs (Dual Triumphs)
19th|+9/+4|+6|+6|+11|Common Goal III
20th|+10/+5|+6|+6|+12|Stalwart Companion, Inspire Teamwork[/table]
The following are class features of the Companion
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Companions are proficient with simple weapons and light armor, though not with any form of shield.
Chosen Allies: A companion, though significant in what it can accomplish, can do relatively little without the aid and support of others. As a full-round action, a companion may select a willing creature with an intelligence score of 3 or higher and HD no higher than twice his class level (up to a maximum of his character level) who is at least friendly towards the companion and turn that creature into a chosen ally. A companion may possess up to 6 chosen allies at any time and any added beyond that number removes a previous chosen ally of his choice. Otherwise, a chosen ally remains such until the companion dies, the companion removes them as a standard action, or until they no longer meet the prerequisites above.
As a standard action, a companion may have a chosen ally take a move or standard action of his choice. For this ability to work, however, the target must be both capable of and willing to take the desired action. The target must also be capable of seeing or hearing the companion for this ability to function.
Notes and Explanation:SpoilerBehold the basic ability of the companion, the ability to incorporate allies into a alliance. Further, while it was difficult to rationalize giving the companion spellcasting or true fighting skills, he is allowed to act vicariously through allies, meaning that the player gets a taste of playing whatever everyone else is (and requiring the ally to be willing ensures that the companion doesn’t waste resources the other player was saving).
As far as the HD requirement, it might look a bit wonky but there is a reason that I put things as I did. First, I didn’t want cohorts to be acting through players as that sounds like a world of trouble. Secondly, I don’t want a one-level dip to grant that ability either as that seems quite powerful for one level. Running against that, however, I didn’t want to totally cut off multiclass/PrC options to those who really want them. As such, limiting HD to twice your class level (up to a maximum of your character level) seemed like the best way to accomplish all I was going for.
Joint Triumphs (Ex): Beyond simply helping to bring a team together, a companion helps them work together even in the midst of combat, taking advantage of each others’ actions and tactics to increase their own effectiveness. In effect, the companion and his chosen allies may all use triumphs (as listed below) at will as a swift action. At 1st level, a companion and his allies possess access to all minor triumphs. This access increases to lesser triumphs at 5th level, major triumphs at 9th level, and awesome triumphs at 13th level. At 17th level, you and chosen allies may use two triumphs as a single swift action. A chosen ally must possess a line of sight with the companion to use triumphs and the companion is treated as a chosen ally for the purpose of triumph effects.
- Gang Up: In the heat of battle, there is only so much that a single combatant can keep track of at once. By ganging up on one foe, you ensure that they open themselves up to further attacks. The next attack you make against a creature treats that creature as flat-footed if it was attacked or damaged by at least two other chosen allies within the past round.
- Lay Low: There are times in battle where it is best to lie low for a time and regain your composure. Whether severely injured or simply needing a chance to reevaluate the battlefield, a well-placed attack from an ally can give you a break in the melee. One target creature that threatens you and that was damaged by another chosen ally within its reach within the past round makes no direct efforts to harm you for one round unless you harm it or it is incapable of attacking or harming any other targets.
- Guarded Casting: Spellcasting in close quarters is always a risky proposition. With an ally nearby to draw off the worst of the heat, however, the task is made far more manageable. The next time you cast a spell within the next round, it doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity from one target creature if that creature is in turn threatened by at least one chosen ally.
- Disengage: Moving through a cluttered battlefield is a constant danger with threats looming all around you. So long as allies are there to keep enemies at bay, however, mobility greatly increases. Your next movement doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity from creatures occupying squares threatened by at least one chosen ally.
- Maintain Focus: Keeping one’s focus away from combat is often a losing proposition, opening the way for a potent counterattack. With trustworthy allies at your side, however, you have little to fear as you focus on other tasks. So long as you are adjacent to at least two chosen allies, your skill checks don’t provoke attacks of opportunity and you need not make concentration checks to focus on skill checks when damaged. Both of these benefits only last for 1 round, requiring several re-uses for skills requiring more than one round to complete.
- Open Assault: In larger fights, it is easy for combatants to block their allies even in melee combat, taking up too much space for anyone to truly move freely. With a bit of coordination, however, you can ensure that an attacker can get some open strikes at a foe. If no other ally has attacked or damaged target creature within the past round, you may immediately make an attack against it at your full Base Attack Bonus. You may only use this ability if you possess a line of sight with at least two conscious chosen allies, whose actions help keep the area clear.
- Exploit Disorientation: When a creature’s body or mind is put to the test defending itself from harm, the entire experience can prove rather disorienting out on the battlefield. By acting in tandem with allies, however, you can use this disorientation to your advantage. Choose a single creature who has made a Fortitude or Will save against at least one spell, ability, or item used by a favored ally within the past round. You gain a 50% miss chance against that creature’s attacks for 1 round.
- Clear the Room: In large groups spells and effects with large areas often prove dangerous to allies as well as foes. If your allies break off the attack at the last possible moment, however, there is little chance for your opponents to prepare themselves. Creatures within the next area effect you create within the next round fail to benefit from evasion or similar abilities and are staggered for 1 round if they fail a reflex save against that effect (in addition to any normal consequences of a failed save) if at least two chosen allies started their previous actions within the area.
- Follow the Leader: If you have witnessed a chosen ally make a climb, swim, balance, tumble, jump, escape artist, hide, and/or move silently check within the past round, you may use the die result of one such skill check for use with the same skill within the next round (you apply your own modifiers).
- Team Mobilization: You may ignore difficult terrain you have witnessed chosen allies pass through within the past round unless such terrain has been magically animated to limit movement. Alternately, you may stand from prone without provoking attacks of opportunity if a chosen ally is adjacent to you.
- Deepen the Wound: Many opponents possess resistance against certain forms of harm. By aiming for a previous wound another ally had inflicted, however, you may avoid such resistances. Your next successful attack against a creature within the next round may treat all damage dealt as being of any single type the target was previously dealt by a chosen ally within the past round (you may thus have your mace deal slashing damage against a zombie who has been struck by a longsword or have your crossbows deal fire damage upon a troll recently hit by a fireball).
- Frontline Decoy: While entering the fray may put one at risk of bodily harm, luring an opponent into aggression may well open a window of opportunity for counterattack by allies. The next melee attack made against you within the next round provokes attacks of opportunities from chosen allies.
- Quick Induction: With matters of magic, it is not infrequent that new creatures may be called upon or created to serve. With an adaptable group of friends, however, it is possible to incorporate a temporary minion into the group. You may allow a summoned creature, undead, or construct you control or an enemy under the effect of a mind-affecting effect you have created count as a chosen ally for the purposes of triumphs for one round so long as the target possesses no more HD than yourself. It does not count towards your limit of chosen allies.
- Mobile Boon: One of the few limitations with more benevolent magicks often comes down to limited range, requiring the caster to approach the front lines or the target to retreat and stand still waiting to receive some magical boon. With enough practice, however, a mage can effectively cast a spell on a target in motion, though it may take a moment or two to take effect. In effect, the next spell you cast within the next round may target a single chosen ally as if it were occupying any square it had occupied within the past round (you may thus use an effect with a range of touch if it has charged through an adjacent square, for example). This effect does not function if the target does not wish to be affected by the spell in question.
- Collective Coercion: While one voice can sway a mind, a chorus of voices all aiming for the same end may prove to be far more effective. If a chosen ally has made a bluff, diplomacy, or intimidate check within the past round, you may either allow the target to reroll their check (only one reroll is permitted in this way and this does not stack with other effects granting rerolls) or make one of these checks against the same target and use the same dice result for your roll.
- Succession of Blows: Out in the battlefield, a single lucky shot can cause an opponent a world of pain. Far more significantly, such an attack renders an opponent wide open to further punishment. If the last chosen ally to attack a target within the past round scored at least one successful critical hit, your next successful attack against that target automatically threatens a critical hit.
- Interposition: Some combatants out in the fray are less equipped to handle the full brunt of a cloud giant’s axe or a dragon’s bite. With true friends nearby, however, you can count on help when endangered. You may choose to redirect the next attack or other aggressive action directed at you within the next round towards a willing chosen ally also within the range of the same aggressive action (even if that target is beyond the action's reach or range).
- Shatter Resistance: A few creatures seem to possess a certain resistance against magic. Rather than working around it yourself, however, you can observe how an ally manages to perform the same feat. If another chosen ally has succeeded on a caster level check to overcome the spell resistance of a target within the past round, you automatically succeed on all such checks made against that target within the next round.
- Readied Coordination: While even the closest of allies tend to act on their own in the heat of battle, a few are able to truly coordinate with allies and act in tandem. For the next round, you may take any action you have readied at any point during a chosen ally’s action if it has yet to be normally triggered. For the purpose of this ability your ally is the character whose action triggered your readied action. The readied action can still only be taken once.
- Pooled Lore: Fighting rare and monstrous creatures, knowledge and forewarning are power. While some may try to collect as much lore as they can, the simple fact remains that different people may pick up different tidbits of information. If an ally has made a knowledge check to identify a monster within the past round, you may make a knowledge check to do so as well using the same skill (if trained) and learn additional information as if adding your result to the previous result. This only applies to knowledge checks made to identify and learn the weaknesses and abilities of monsters.
Notes and Explanation:SpoilerThis right here is one of the central parts of the class. All too often in this game “teamwork” seems to be equated with giving numerical bonuses. Instead of going for that traditional route, I chose to have this class give out new possible actions to allies, actions that actually care about where your allies are and what they’re doing.
This class is all about having the fighter attack a creature with a weapon overcoming DR and retreating so that the ranger can strike at the same spot with an arrow to ignore the same DR which disorients the creature enough so that the rogue can score a sneak attack and retreat before the wizard launches a fireball on an enemy far too distracted to possibly avoid what comes next, staggering them to stop a charging counterattack.
Inspire Teamwork: Starting at 2nd level, the simple presence of a companion seems to inspire unity and teamwork in those around them. In effect a companion may select a number of teamwork benefits (PHB II/DMG II/HoB/DS) up to half of his level at the start of each day. The companion is treated as possessing a BAB equal to its class level and ranks in all skills equal to his class level +3 for the purpose of meeting leader prerequisites and ignores all other such prerequisites other than class features. These teamwork benefits do not require large investments of time to establish or maintain, instead passing on to itself and all chosen allies who meet all member requirements other than ranks in skills, which they may freely ignore. These membership benefits are in addition to the normal benefit per four levels, which gains none of the above bonuses.
Starting at 4th level, the companion has gained such skill at bringing people together that he becomes the supernatural heart and soul of his group. In effect, the companion acts as a companion spirit with a specific quality and general quality of its choice. Establishing this magic takes neither time nor gold nor even experience and the companion’s tier automatically increases or decreases depending on the lowest level amongst itself and all of its chosen allies (DMG II, p. 195). At 8th level and again at 16th level, the companion may select an additional specific quality for itself. At 12th level, the companion may select a second general quality for itself. The companion may tap its own powers as a companion spirit. If a group disbands and reforms, the resulting “companion spirit” must make the same selections each time the benefit is gained. This is a supernatural ability.
Notes and Explanation:SpoilerIf you’re like me, you may never have taken too good of a look at teamwork benefits. Considering that they appear in four different sourcebooks and that there is somewhere around 40 of them, however, they may actually be worth a look. This class removes the huge amount of downtime needed to establish them as well as most of the annoying prerequisites that players have to coordinate their builds to meet. In short, this class should hopefully make using those benefits a bit more practical. With that said, the benefits actually gained, while occasionally relevant, aren’t the biggest around. You have the ability to switch out your benefits, however, so you should be able to get some degree of use out of this class feature.
On a side-note, I know that some people out there personally hate having class tables that don’t distinguish what actual benefits are given at each level. Given the relative complexity of this class feature (doing two different things), however, going at length in the class table above would likely either increase confusion or cause a good deal more clutter so I’d prefer to keep things as is.
Common Goal (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a companion possesses the skill required to bring his or her allies together and move them towards a common goal, aiding their efforts and exhilarating those who succeed at the endeavor. At the start of your action each round, as a free action, you may set a single common goal for the round, selecting one of the three options below.
Each common goal possesses one or more key rolls, a completion prerequisite, and a boon. The companion possesses a single reroll that it can use on any of the goal’s key rolls on behalf of itself or any willing chosen ally. The companion gains an additional reroll at 11th and 19th level, though no more than one may be spent on a single dice roll. Unused rerolls do not carry over into the next round. Rerolls may be declared after success or failure is determined but before the results of success or failure are determined. Furthermore, any ally who meets the completion prerequisite within the round gains the set boon for the following round. The boon increases in potency at 11th and 19th levels and is doubled if at least three chosen allies (including the companion) meet its completion prerequisite.
Key Rolls: Attack rolls, Spell Penetration Rolls
Completion Prerequisite: When selecting this common goal, the companion must either set the completion prerequisite to either inflicting damage on a specific creature or reducing any target to 0 or fewer hit points. All chosen allies gain the same completion prerequisite.
Boon: All damage you would deal through any source for 1 round deals +1d6 damage. This increases to +2d6 damage at 11th level and +3d6 damage at 19th level.
Key Rolls: Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Swim, and Tumble checks
Completion Prerequisite: When selecting this common goal, the companion may select a general direction for the group to move towards. All chosen allies who move at least 30 feet in that direction during that action meet the completion prerequisites.
Boon: You gain a +10 foot bonus to all movement speeds for 1 round. This increases to +20 feet at 11th level and +30 feet at 19th level.
Key Rolls: Saving Throws, Attack rolls and Spell Penetration checks made against chosen allies.
Completion Prerequisite: Any ally not to suffer hit point damage or fail a saving throw (except against effects with an entry of “harmless”) within the following round meets the completion prerequisite, though they may be subjected to other forms of harmful effect.
Boon: You gain 5 temporary hit points for 1 round. This increases to 10 temporary hit points at 11th level and to 15 temporary hit points at 19th level.
Notes and Explanation:SpoilerTo add onto the theme of togetherness, here is an ability that gives everyone a basic task, helping them accomplish that task if they choose to do it and rewarding them if they do (especially if several do). As I’ve said before, simply giving large bonuses to your d20 rolls wasn’t really what I was going for with this class. Instead, I went with rerolls and other forms of bonuses. I know the old adage that adding more dice rolls doesn’t help the game (much less at-will dice rolls) but, at most, this ability adds a mere three dice to a round of combat (and often not even that). I considered a few other common goals but none seemed quite as universal as offense, defense, and movement and so that’s what I ended up with.
Group Training: Starting at 7th level, a companion and his or her chosen allies can benefit quite extensively from working closely together. In effect, each chosen ally (including the companion) gain a bonus feat. In order to select a feat, however, both the character selecting it and at least one other chosen ally must meet all prerequisites. As a move action, the companion or a chosen ally may switch a single bonus feat gained in this way with one that another chosen ally possesses (making all of the same decisions), so long as both characters would meet all prerequisites for their new feats. These feats may not be used as prerequisites for other feats or prestige classes. With 8 hours of training with his chosen allies, each may switch what feats they have selected in this way. At 15th level, the companion and each chosen ally gains a second bonus feat in this way.
Notes and Explanation:SpoilerTo round out everything else, the presence of the companion in the party hands out bonus feats that can be swapped out and traded among party members. Just in case the presence of the companion wasn’t doing quite enough for everyone else just yet.
Stalwart Companion (Ex): Starting at 20th level, a companion’s fate is tied to those of his allies. So long as the companion is still needed, he refuses to leave the mortal coil. So long as at least one other chosen ally possesses a line of sight with the stalwart companion, any damage that would ordinarily reduce his or her hit points to -10 or fewer instead reduces him to -9 hit points, stabilizes the companion, and knocks him unconscious until restored to at least 0 hit points.
Notes and Explanation:SpoilerTo round things off, it only seems fitting that the presence of a companion’s allies should help him in some small way. Also keeps the chosen ally abilities going so other characters benefit as well, of course.
Note:Heading off for finals soon but I'd have been driven mad if I didn't submit this first (especially as I won't have another chance for a pretty long time). I hope that you guys like it.
Last edited by Realms of Chaos; 2013-09-17 at 06:31 PM.I'm try not to be too vain but this was too perfect not to sig.
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
- Georgia + Inner World
Re: The Companion, a Base Class of Teamwork [PEACH]
YOU MADE SAMWISE! Oh bless us Mr. Frodo
Will come back and balancecheck later.
Last edited by The Mentalist; 2013-05-09 at 05:08 PM.Having trouble writing up hard stat blocks but I'm doing a lot of sharing ideas and soft mechanics lately.
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
- Georgia + Inner World
Re: The Companion, a Base Class of Teamwork [PEACH]
Having come back I notice that a lot of your cool Triumph abilities only really affect you, maybe an ability to allow you to let your ally use a Triumph (maybe of 1 degree less than your max)
Common Goals is REALLY cool but I think it needs more options
And group training is cool.
Can the benefits of multiple companions stack?Having trouble writing up hard stat blocks but I'm doing a lot of sharing ideas and soft mechanics lately.
- Join Date
- Apr 2008
Re: The Companion, a Base Class of Teamwork [PEACH]HD no higher than twice his character level (up to a maximum of his character level)Avatar by araveugnitsuga.
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
- Georgia + Inner World
- Join Date
- Sep 2012
Re: The Companion, a Base Class of Teamwork [PEACH]
Maintain focus and guarded spellcasting look perfect.
SpoilerWow. That took me two hours, I think that's the most forum code I've ever used. This looks promising but you have some wording mistakes, and I get that you were trying to not just have a bunch of numerical bonuses but really a team support class should have some numeric bonuses.
EDIT: fixed calling chosen allies chosen companions.
Last edited by Courier6; 2013-05-10 at 03:58 PM.