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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Dec 2013

    Default [Prc, ToB, PEACH] Big Weapons and Big Egos: The Landsknecht

    The Landsknecht

    "The first thing you've got to learn, boy, is that a battle can be won without even a single sword drawn. The second thing, of course, is that if a sword is drawn, it'd best be yours, and yours alone."

    The battlefield is a place often thought of as brutish, with barely any thought put into such things as putting on a show. This is quickly revealed to not be the case, however, with a special type of soldier known as the Landsknecht; the 'Knight of the Field'. Where others are content with defeating their foes, the Landsknecht instead lives by showcasing his flair and mastery of his craft. Often dressed in gaudy outfits and hefting blades that would make even a barbarian impressed, this warrior is a foppish artist; his medium is swordsmanship, and war is his canvas.

    BECOMING A LANDSKNECHT
    Do not let their cavalier attitudes and garish appearances fool you; Landsknechts are masters of combat, famed for winning fights against whole platoons of soldiers by themselves. Obviously, skill in fighting is required in order to become one of these warriors, but mere lethality isn't enough. In order to truly make use of their abilities, a Landsknecht must also be charming and suave, all the better to trick and frighten their foes. While Fighters and Warblades are the most common of characters to take up the mantle, it is not unheard of for them to also be multiclassed into Rogue—or, more likely, Bard—to best make use of a high Charisma score.

    ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
    Base Attack Bonus: +10
    Alignment: Any Neutral
    Proficiencies: All Simple and Martial Melee Weapons
    Feats: Power Attack, Cleave, Great Cleave, Never Outnumbered (CS)
    Special: Must have worked as a mercenary in a military action (attacking or defending), OR Profession (Soldier) 4 ranks

    Class Skills
    The Landsknecht's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Int), Knowledge (History, Local, and Nobility & Royalty, each taken separately) (Int), Listen (Wis), Martial Lore (Int), Profession (Any) (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), and Spot (Wis).
    Skills Points at Each Level: 4 + INT Modifier

    Hit Dice: d10

    Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Maneuvers Known Maneuvers Readied Stances Learned
    1st
    +1
    +2
    +0
    +0
    Doppelsöldner, Extravagant Armor 1 0 0
    2nd
    +2
    +3
    +0
    +0
    Supreme Cleave, Hafted Strike 0 1 0
    3rd
    +3
    +3
    +1
    +1
    Enraging Banter, Thousand-Limb Edge 1 0 0
    4th
    +4
    +4
    +1
    +1
    More Like a Slab of Iron 0 1 0
    5th
    +5
    +4
    +1
    +1
    Improved Enraging Banter, Tide of Steel 1 0 1

    Weapon Proficiencies: A Landsknecht gains proficiency with a special type of sword called the Zweihänder (see below). They are proficient in light, medium, and heavy armor, but not with any kind of shield.

    Maneuvers and Stances: At each odd-numbered level, you gain a new maneuver known from any of the following disciplines: Diamond Mind, Iron Heart, Stone Dragon, and White Raven. You must meet a maneuver’s prerequisite to learn it. You add your full landsknecht levels to your initiator level to determine your total initiator level and your highest-level maneuvers known. At every even level, you gain an additional maneuver readied per day.
    At 5th level, you gain a stance from any of the above martial disciplines that you could learn.

    Doppelsöldner: A Landsknecht is a master of all styles of combat, both mundane and exotic. A Landsknecht adds their class level to their levels in Fighter for the purpose of meeting feat prerequisites.

    Extravagant Armor (Ex): A Landsknecht is most easily identified by their aura of self-confidence, certain in their belief that they are simply too good at their job to be hit. This, in addition to their often-gaudy and fluttering clothing that they wear over armor, actual proves fairly accurate. Whenever a Landsknecht dons medium or heavy armor, they may choose to position it more for show than for swiftness; if they do so, they suffer a -1 penalty to AC, but may use their Charisma modifier in place of their Dexterity modifier, and may ignore the Maximum Dexterity Bonus of that armor.

    Supreme Cleave:At 2nd level and higher, a Landsknecht can take a 5-foot step between attacks when using the Cleave or Great Cleave feat. He is still limited to one such adjustment per round, so he cannot use this ability during a round in which he has already taken a 5-foot step.

    Hafted Strike (Ex): Even though they are skilled with weapons of reach, a Landsknecht still knows how to quickly shift his hold in order to attack foes that are close by. When wielding a weapon with reach, a Landsknecht of 2nd level and above can still attack and threaten the spaces adjacent and diagonal to him.

    Enraging Banter (Ex): Professional warriors through and through, a Landsknecht is innately aware of what would anger a foe, and use this knowledge to their advantage. They gain a bonus to Bluff, Intimidate, and Sense Motive equal to their class level beginning at 3rd level.
    In addition, a Landsknecht may, as a standard action, single out a foe within 100 feet to focus his ridicule on, drawing his attention and ire. The Landsknecht makes his choice of a Bluff, Intimidate, or Sense Motive check. The result of this check is the DC for his target's Will save. On a failed save, the target immediately rushes towards the Landsknecht, moving up to his speed in order to be as close to him as possible; this movement provokes attacks of opportunity. Each turn until he is adjacent to the Landsknecht, the victim will make every attempt to move as close as he can, using a charge maneuver if need be.
    If the foe would be forced to move in such a way that it would be obviously lethal or at least highly dangerous (for example, trying to get across a wide chasm that separates two cliffs, or through a river that he already knew held crocodiles), he immediately ends his movement at the last possible safest moment; if he did not know of the dangers (due to, say, blindness or simple ignorance of certain facts), he continues to move unimpeded.
    The target must then successfully hit the Landsknecht at least once, even if he deals no damage; until he does so, the target cannot focus on or attack any other character.
    A Landsknecht may make use of this ability a number of times per day equal to 1 + his Charisma modifier.
    At 5th level, by expending three uses of this ability at once, the Landsknecht may choose to target every foe within 60 feet, rather than a single foe that is within 100 feet.
    This ability does not work on mindless beings. If you can communicate with animals, however (via Speak With Animals or some other ability), you can use it on them.

    Thousand-Limb Edge (Ex): A master of sword and spear, the Landsknecht can seamlessly mix the two disciplines into a single lethal style. While wielding any of the following weapons, the a Landsknecht of 3rd or higher level may treat that weapon as having reach: Bastard Sword (Two-Handed), Falchion, Greatsword, Halberd, Zweihänder.

    More Like a Slab of Iron(Ex): Bigger, as they say, is better. A Landsknecht that reaches 4th level may wield any weapon as though he were a size category larger, so long as they have reach.

    Tide of Steel (Ex): At 5th level, a Landsknecht has mastered the art of slicing from one foe into the next, making it an art form. They gain a special Stance known as the Tide of Steel, which belongs to no school (this bonus stance is in addition to the stance they gain at level 5).
    While in the Tide of Steel stance, whenever you would initiate a maneuver and down a foe (as described in Cleave), you may follow up as described in Cleave and Great Cleave, the effects of the maneuver applying to the cleave as well. For example, initiating the Strike of Perfect Clarity and downing a foe would allow you to cleave into an adjacent foe with the same +100 bonus to damage.

    PLAYING A LANDSKNECHT
    Landsknechts are front-line combatants through and through. Hefting weapons that are often larger than they are, these mercenaries are most at home on the battlefield, cheerfully wading their way though wave after wave of lesser men.

    Combat: The most common strategy for Landsknechts is to charge into the middle of a large group of enemies, where they would then follow-up by allowing them to attack him; by doing so, the poor bastards leave themselves open for him to Cleave them using attacks of opportunity, downing one foe before biting into the next.
    Advancement: Obviously, a combat-focused class such as this benefits from combat-focused multiclassing. Taking more levels in a Martial Initiator class grants a Landsknecht more options when simply cutting foes down in swathes is too simple or (rarely) ineffective. Out of the spellcasting classes, taking a few levels of Bard (or already having some under their belt) can prove surprisingly effective; with a secondary focus on Charisma, as well as a showy style of battle, a Fighter (or Warblade)/Bard/Landsknecht has the benefit of singing praises to himself in order to boost their accuracy and damage output before immediately putting them to use.

    LANDSKNECHTS IN THE WORLD
    "It's no wonder those swordsmen charge double for their services; why, for th' number of men they cut down, I'm surprised they don't ask for thrice-pay!" ~Lord Dravos of Honelleth, on the Crimson Wing mercenary crew

    The life of a landsknecht is often one filled with travel, being mercenaries who wander from army to army, war to war. Most often, these warriors are trained by others of their kind in small groups of mobile platoons. However, self-training is not unheard of.
    Notables: Ysabelle Varitas (TN Shifter Rng 4 / Wbl 6 / Lkt 3) is a rare breed of Landsknecht, her race causing troubles both mechanically (with a penalty to both INT and CHA) and narratively (distrust due to potential werewolf blood). However, despite these shortcomings, the halberd-wielding warmaiden has managed to prove her worth on the killing fields, a lone mercenary in a wide and amazing world.
    Clyde Starsborn (CN Human Ftr 2 / Wbl 10 / Lkt 5) was one of the founding members of the Crimson Wings, a monster-hunting band of warriors. Though considered retired due to losing an eye, he is still more than capable enough to fell a wyvern with a single swing of his oversized Zweihänder. Among hunters, he is known as the Crimson Scourge, both from his red hair and his blood-splattered armor.


    NPC Reaction
    Being the sort of folk that ask for payment before putting their lives on the line, many people see landsknechts as a necessary tax at the best, and a bunch of greedy glory-hounds at worse. However, their impressive skills in warfare make them very popular among soldiers; getting into a group of landsknechts is a sure sign of martial skill, easily recognized by all.

    LANDSKNECHTS IN THE GAME

    Adaptation: A Landsknecht fits into nearly any campaign where a mercenary-style warrior is a common trope. To emphasize that particular aspect, a larger focus on social skills can be made, perhaps allowing them to even substitute a certain skill with some other roll. In more dungeon-crawl-oriented games, increasing the combat efficiency of the landsknecht would be as simple as granting them more damage or actions, usually in the form of feats or bonus maneuvers.
    Encounters: If the party meets a landsknecht, it's often for one of two reasons: either they're working alongside the man, or they're being swung at by him. Despite these two extremes, though, any individual NPC is unlikely to have any particular feelings for or against them due to their mercenary traits. While they are quite lethal, a landsknecht met in the field of battle is often merely "just doing a job", and may even be both a friend and a foe within the same day.



    NEW WEAPON: THE ZWEIHANDER
    Exotic Two-Handed Melee
    Critical: 19-20/x2
    Type: Slashing and Bludgeoning
    Hardness: 15
    HP: 15
    Damage (S/M/L): 2d6/2d8/3d8
    Cost: 100 gp
    A massive sword, tall enough to match the height of even a large man at roughly 6 feet long.
    A Zweihänder's wide blade can provide a means of defense even in the heat of battle. If you are proficient in this weapon, you gain a +2 shield bonus to AC as long as you are wielding it. This bonus applies to ranged touch attacks, but not melee touch attacks.
    Last edited by Adam1949; 2014-04-01 at 03:45 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Amechra's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5, Prc, ToB, PEACH] Big Weapons and Big Egos: The Landsknecht

    This synergizes so well with the Strongarm Warrior. I like it.
    Quote Originally Posted by segtrfyhtfgj View Post
    door is a fake exterior wall
    Let's play a game, shall we? Current Game: END ROLL. Updates Mondays and Thursdays, 6PM EST. Currently on hiatus, because life sucks right now. Life has decided to suck less, so my hiatus is over.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
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    Default Re: [3.5, Prc, ToB, PEACH] Big Weapons and Big Egos: The Landsknecht

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    This synergizes so well with the Strongarm Warrior. I like it.
    Haha, that's just great! I didn't even know about that thing, but now that I look at it they really do both fit quite nicely, don't they? Warblade 5 / Strongarm Warrior 10 / Landsknecht 5 pretty much would be the best equivalent to a Berserk Guts, wouldn't it?

    Any things you'd suggest changing?

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Amechra's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5, Prc, ToB, PEACH] Big Weapons and Big Egos: The Landsknecht

    With Enraging Banter, you can drop all of the restrictions (except for, maybe, the prohibition from affecting mindless creatures); Language-dependent is shorthand for "only works if your target understands what you are saying"; therefor, it works on Intelligent Undead by default.

    Now, I would let them use it on animals and such if they share a language. So, if they are under the effects of a Speak with Animals effect, they can provoke animals (threaten their territory or young; easy to justify), but if you disagree, that's fine too.

    Extravagant Armor, however, is just no. Classes that add another ability score to AC usually do so because such characters can't wear armor (making up for a weakness, as it were.) In this case, a high-Charisma character entering is getting a +6 or greater bonus to AC of a rare bonus type (not very many morale bonuses to AC, I have to say.)

    Now, AC isn't actually that important; however, if your AC is too much higher than the rest of your party, it makes it hard for the DM to have physical characters that can hit you and still miss your team-mates.

    I would suggest stuff that upgrades armor in a way that isn't a straight-up numbers boost; one idea is letting them add Charisma to AC instead of Dexterity whenever they wear medium or heavy armor, chosen when they don their armor. If they do so, they ignore the MDB of their armor, and get some other minor, non-numerical bonus.

    Great Cleave... really? At 12+ level? Really? OK, so it reduces a feat tax, but anyone who wanted it should have it by this point. I'd recommend giving them Supreme Cleave instead (lets them take a 5' step between cleave attacks), and requiring Great Cleave.

    As for Tide of Steel... I've increasingly found it kinda distasteful when people hand "full attack as a Standard action" out. It just feels inelegant. I'd rather see something that boosted Cleave attempts, like "Cleave Maneuvers", which gave your Cleave attacks all the benefits of any standard action maneuver that triggered it (so Strike of Perfect Clarity can split off into a bunch of attacks that all get +100 damage, for example).
    Quote Originally Posted by segtrfyhtfgj View Post
    door is a fake exterior wall
    Let's play a game, shall we? Current Game: END ROLL. Updates Mondays and Thursdays, 6PM EST. Currently on hiatus, because life sucks right now. Life has decided to suck less, so my hiatus is over.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
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    Default Re: [3.5, Prc, ToB, PEACH] Big Weapons and Big Egos: The Landsknecht

    Thanks for the advice, Amechra! I've made the changes suggested. Any others?

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
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    Default Re: [3.5, Prc, ToB, PEACH] Big Weapons and Big Egos: The Landsknecht

    Apologies for the double-post. Updated the skill list (as they didn't have the ability to have Profession [Soldier]) and the discipline access (allowing them to actually gain Diamond Mind's Strike of Perfect Clarity).
    Last edited by Adam1949; 2014-03-04 at 03:30 AM.

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