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    Orc in the Playground
    Cheesy74's Avatar

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    Jan 2010
    Boston, MA

    Post Wrestling Mountains: The Stalwart (PEACH)

    Spoiler: Changelog

    These changes are ordered in descending chronological order. Changes labeled with [MAJOR] fundamentally alter the class and should be discussed with your GM before being applied to an active character. Other changes are balance adjustments or wording changes, and typically are not significant enough to require GM approval (though I would still recommend it).

    August 19, 2021:
    - Replaced two niche utility techniques in the Golem tree with techniques that better fit the stalwart's playstyle: expansions of existing systems that enable combos.
    - Binder's Grip (niche utility vs incorporeal creatures) replaced with Throat Slam to mirror the Tackle technique
    - Stony Resolve (passive saving throw boost) replaced with Warded Presence, which makes BwtC into a stronger area of effect shield, changing the feel of tanking as a golem stalwart.

    August 14, 2021:
    - Merged Out of my Way and Unstoppable Force to make the Ram Overrun tree more attractive.
    - Changed Unstoppable Force to a more powerful improvement on charges and overruns.
    - Put the knockback from Ram Strike behind a CMB check to make it less of a surefire guarantee that ram stalwarts can maintain their adrenaline surge round-to-round.
    - Added a new option to both fighting styles to let them augment their most common strategies using Focus points. This should give rams a bit more choice round-to-round and make it easier for golems to keep their adrenaline surge up.
    - Rewrote Stay On Me to remove overlap with the new standard golem style ability.

    August 5, 2021:
    - Changed Toss Me to be more of an incidental combat option than an intentional one.
    - Added Seeing Red to fill out some dead levels and make adrenaline surges less of a struggle to enter in the levels leading up to level 15.

    May 1, 2021:
    - Added a scaling cap to the bonus from Barricade to make Stalwart dips less powerful.
    - Minor wording change: triggering an adrenaline surge while in an adrenaline surge now refreshes the duration rather than extending it. This doesn't have any mechanical effect, but improves clarity a bit.
    - Updated the Ram style's effect on Leverage, to mirror the November changes to its capstone.
    - Standardized the save DC of Launch to scale the same as other techniques.
    - Made Binder's Grip toggleable to avoid the stalwart smacking into ethereal barriers.
    - Golems already get Improved Trip, so it's been replaced in Haymaker. Haymaker has accordingly been buffed to knock people prone and keep them that way.
    - Weak Point sucks and has been replaced with Toss Me. Too many of the feats of strength were about damaging objects, anyway.

    November 19, 2020:
    - Altered how Leverage caps out, since there are almost no situations where "increase up to five size categories" is weaker than "increase however many size categories bigger your enemy is" outside of super-epic-level Colossal++++ creatures.
    - Simplified the wording of Golem Stance.

    August 17, 2020:
    - Fighting styles now grant the corresponding "Improved [Maneuver]" feat.
    - Fighting styles now upgrade at level 12, granting the Greater [Maneuver] feat and improving their unique abilities.
    - To make the ability easier to read without cross-referencing, ram strikes have been streamlined to a simpler version of an Awesome Blow.

    February 28, 2020:
    - Changed how triggering an adrenaline surge while in an adrenaline surge works, in preparation for the release of a new archetype (and to make some rules minutiae clearer). Mechanically, this has no effect on stalwarts as presently written.

    September 23, 2019:
    - Clarified the wording of Wrecking Crew's second usage.
    - Added the Precision Violence feat of strength. I think Feats of Strength has enough abilities to be ready for use at this point.
    - Added a second tier 5 technique for each fighting style (alongside Mountain Charge and Mithril Counter).

    September 22, 2019:
    - Rewrote Launch to be more desirable. It no longer requires a ranged attack roll and works as an area-of-effect line instead.

    May 13, 2019:
    - Renamed Knockout Punch to Haymaker.
    - Expanded Stony Resolve to work on all Enchantment spells.
    - Clarified wording of several abilities, including specifying that being thrown by Launch is considered forced movement. Launch is becoming an overly complicated ability and will be revisited in a future revision.

    January 8, 2019:
    - Clarified how the ram capstone works against extremely large foes.

    November 25, 2018:
    - Added a clause to Warden's Grip clarifying that it does not let the stalwart bypass nonmagical immunities to combat maneuvers.

    October 21, 2018:
    - Added three new feats of strength and changed the ability back to using a shared pool of uses rather than tracking each ability separately.

    June 25, 2018:
    - Replaced Bracing Slam with Binder's Grip for entry-level golem abilities. Overcoming DR/magic with unarmed damage isn't as much of a hurdle in Pathfinder, since items that let you enchant unarmed strikes as if they were weapons are in easier supply, but it seemed like the stalwart could still use an early-access option to do that (also, punching ghosts is pretty cool).

    June 12, 2018:
    - Did some math, realized how much the level 14 upgrade increases BWTC pool size, removed it entirely. Any reasonable nerf brought it within striking distance of the original calculation and made it harder to calculate, so it makes more design sense to just nix it.

    June 11, 2018 [MAJOR, new ability]:
    - Changed Barricade to provide a boost to natural armor. Strength-based dodge didn't make a ton of sense.
    - Added Feats of Strength to act as a skeleton for the stalwart's out-of-combat utility and fill out some dead levels. I wouldn't recommend using it yet, since I'm still fleshing out its options and figuring out exactly what I want it to do.
    - Moved Fighting Style to level 3 to ramp up stalwarts more quickly and spread out the obscene power spike that happens at level 4.
    - Pushed Improved Grapple into level 1 to make level-1 adrenaline surges more feasible. Accordingly, Grappler ability renamed to Barricade.
    - Clarified the wording of Overexertion.
    - Bumped unarmed damage die to be on par with Pathfinder monks.

    June 10, 2018:
    - Fixed some wording around AC bonuses (changed an AC bonus "applying to all attacks" to "applying against all attacks")
    - Changed Clash and Mithril Counter to require an immediate action instead of an attack of opportunity to make it physically possible to harm a high-level golem stalwart

    June 6, 2018:
    - Removed the extreme spell resistance from the golem capstone. They get enough fun things.
    - Cleaned up wording of golem stance to eliminate long digressions about corner cases.
    - Clarified that the ram capstone never decreases the ram's effective size (to prevent silliness like a ram being treated as Tiny while bull rushing a fly).

    May 13, 2018 [MAJOR, system shift]:
    - Replaced Crush with Clash, both to keep with the theme of 'golem abilities are counters' and to get rid of an overcomplicated ability and replace it with something more useful for a tank.
    - Updated the class to Pathfinder (skill list adjustment, minor wording update)

    May 3, 2018:
    - Rewrote the golem capstone to work with the new fighting style rather than golem trance.
    - Removed the daze-on-success from the ram capstone's ram strike (guaranteed action denial on hit was too powerful).

    May 2, 2018 [MAJOR for golems]:
    - Replaced core ability for the Golem fighting style with the passive ability Golem Stance, which synergizes with their counter-heavy playstyle better than the previous ability that simply gave them more chances to grapple an opponent.
    - Adjusted several golem techniques to function as counters/reactions rather than active/passive abilities, to synergize better with the new core ability.

    May 1, 2018:
    - Changed base damage of Launch to powerful blow damage, from 2d6. Scaling remains at +1d6/size category above Medium.
    - Clarified wording of Ram's Impact.

    January 2, 2016:
    - Changed Intervene to be an attack of opportunity rather than an immediate action
    - Changed several golem techniques to be more comparable to ram techniques. I felt that golems had too few active combat options.
    - Cleaned up a few techniques to be less 'niche' and more 'general use'.

    November 12, 2015:
    - Wording fixes (additionally vs. finally, fixing some changed keywords from the last update)
    - Clarified wording on Clifftop Leap, jumps can now be in any direction

    November 10, 2015 [MAJOR]:
    - Converted adrenaline surges to a one-round state rather than an expendable charge
    - Introduced Focus points, which must be spent to use most special abilities (especially those that deal bonus damage)
    - Converted all associated techniques to require Focus points
    - Renamed Stalwart Foci to Fighting Styles
    - Made fighting style special abilities part of Powerful Blow rather than triggered separately
    - Added save improvements to each fighting style to differentiate them
    - Added the Overexertion ability to get over the hurdle of being unable to enter adrenaline surge in the first place
    - Changed capstone to be permanent adrenaline surge

    Spoiler: Errata/FAQ

    Q: Can I 5-foot step away from an enemy that triggers an attack of opportunity while in golem stance?
    A: Sometimes. You can only take the 5-foot step granted by golem stance before performing an attack of opportunity (or a technique that expends an attack of opportunity), so you can't step to a position where that's impossible. For example, if an enemy triggered an attack of opportunity by moving adjacent to a stalwart with a 10-foot reach, the stalwart could take a 5-foot step backward and then attack, but the same stalwart with a 5-foot reach would be unable to attack from that new position, and thus could not take the 5-foot step.

    If I take an action that triggers an adrenaline surge, can I spend the focus point(s) I get on that action?
    A: No. Adrenaline surges triggered by an action don't trigger until the action resolves, at which point you can no longer retroactively change the action to include spending a focus point. This includes spending Focus points acquired during a charge on the attack at the end of that charge, since the movement and attack of a charge are a single action. However, if you trigger an adrenaline surge as part of a full attack, you can spend the resulting focus point(s) as part of any attacks that remain after the adrenaline surge has been triggered.

    If I still have all my Focus points when I trigger another adrenaline surge, do I add the new points to the existing ones?
    A: No. When you trigger an adrenaline surge, including one triggered while already in an adrenaline surge, you lose any Focus points you currently have and gain the points granted by the surge. Focus points never roll over.

    Are the number of uses for different feats of strength counted separately?
    A: No. The stalwart must spend a use of their Feats of Strength ability to use any individual Feat of Strength they possess.

    What size bonus does Indomitable grant against Gargantuan and Colossal foes?
    A: The size bonus chart for CMB caps out at Colossal, which grants a +8 to CMB, but level 20 ram stalwarts are considered Colossal+ versus Gargantuan foes and Colossal++ versus Colossal foes. GMs may use whatever system they like for calculating Colossal+ and Colossal++ modifiers, but it is strongly suggested that you not follow the existing scheme of doubling the bonus. Giving a stalwart a +32 bonus to maneuvers against Colossal creatures is a non-starter, even for level 20. Viable choices include adding +4 for every size category beyond Colossal or simply capping out the size modifier at Colossal.

    Spoiler: Image

    "A dragon, higher than the treetops, threatened my friends. I placed my hands on its tail and swung. The dragon was my weapon. I was the dragon."
    - Aleksandr Burkov, stalwart

    Stalwarts are hulking melee fighters that fight without armor or weapons. They are experts at using their size to their best ability, and excel at controlling battlefields and defending allies.

    Adventures: Stalwarts adventure for fame and glory, much like other adventurers, but many also adventure to protect those they love, whether those people are in their party or far away.

    Characteristics: Stalwarts are large and broad, typically loud and boisterous, and tend to be marked with thick scars from past adventures.

    Alignment: The stalwart fighting style tends to repel those who seek order, so stalwarts are never lawful, but they lean toward neither side of the good/evil spectrum. The amount of physical strength that a stalwart possesses tends to sway them toward one side or the other, however, so they are usually good or evil, rather than neutral.

    Religion: Kord is by far the most common deity among stalwarts, as the patron deity of physical strength. Evil stalwarts often worship Erythnul, as inspiration to show no mercy to their foes in battle.

    Background: Stalwarts tend to come from violent or dangerous backgrounds, having built their bodies to defend themselves in hostile environments. Some devoted themselves to physical training after losing a loved one. The rarest background for stalwarts tends to be noble houses, as the luxuriant environment of an upper-class life rarely motivates someone to train hard enough to become a stalwart.

    Races: Large, bulky races such as monstrous humanoids are the most common stalwarts, as they are naturally much more powerful than smaller races. Most PC stalwarts are humans, half-orcs, and dwarves, as their societies often champion physical strength. Halfling and gnome stalwarts are rare, but not impossible. Elven stalwarts are practically unheard of.

    Other Classes: Stalwarts get along well with other physical combatants such as fighters, barbarians, and warblades. They have grudging respect for the skills of swordsages, monks, and rogues, despite their somewhat indirect styles, and tend to have few opinions on divine casters. They are positively icy toward arcane casters, as magic tends to be the least understood and most dangerous part of combat for a stalwart.

    Role: Stalwarts are frontline combatants, designed to take hits with ease and control the battlefield for their allies by moving and disabling enemies. They deal as much damage as most frontline melee characters, but thrive off combos and streaks, and thus can very rapidly go from an unstoppable skull-crushing juggernaut to an unremarkable meatshield if the dice don't go their way.

    Stalwarts have the following game statistics.
    Abilities: Most of a stalwart's abilities scale off Strength and Constitution, which mesh perfectly with their in-the-fray combat style. As they are usually unarmored, they can make full use of a high Dexterity, but tend not to benefit from Dexterity as much as Strength. Among the mental stats, Intelligence makes up for their poor skill point count, but Wisdom and Charisma are largely unimportant to them.
    Alignment: Any nonlawful.
    Hit Die: d12
    Starting Age: As barbarian.
    Starting Gold: As barbarian.

    Class Skills
    The stalwart's class skills (and their key abilities) are: Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Profession (Wis), and Swim (Str)

    Skill Points: 2 + Int modifier

    Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Ref Will Class Features Unarmed Damage
    1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Adrenaline Surge, Block With the Chest, Brawler, Focus, Powerful Blow +1d6 1d6
    2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Barricade, Leverage +1 1d6
    3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Fighting Style, Powerful Blow +2d6 1d6
    4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Technique 1d8
    5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Feat of Strength, Powerful Blow +3d6 1d8
    6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 Leverage +2, Seeing Red 1/day 1d8
    7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 Technique, Powerful Blow +4d6 1d8
    8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +2 Mettle 1d10
    9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 Feat of Strength, Seeing Red 2/day, Powerful Blow +5d6 1d10
    10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +3 Technique, Leverage +3 1d10
    11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +3 Powerful Blow +6d6, Warden's Grip 1d10
    12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +4 Improved Mettle, Fighting Style (Greater), Seeing Red 3/day 2d6
    13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +4 Feat of Strength, Powerful Blow +7d6, Technique 2d6
    14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +4 Leverage +4 2d6
    15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +5 Powerful Blow +8d6, Overexertion, Seeing Red 4/day 2d6
    16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +5 Technique 2d8
    17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Feat of Strength, Powerful Blow +9d6 2d8
    18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6 Leverage +5 (ignore size), Seeing Red 5/day 2d8
    19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 Powerful Blow +10d6, Technique 2d8
    20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 Indomitable 2d10

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Stalwarts are proficient with unarmed strikes, gauntlets, spiked gauntlets, and clubs. They receive no armor proficiencies.

    Brawler (Ex): The stalwart gains the Improved Unarmed Strike and Improved Grapple feats, even if they do not meet the prerequisites. They deal more damage than usual with their unarmed strikes, as shown on the Stalwart table. The stalwart's unarmed strike is considered both a natural and manufactured weapon for the purpose of spells and enchantments affecting weapons. In addition, the stalwart considers their unarmed strike to be a one-handed weapon rather than a light weapon when this would be beneficial.

    Adrenaline Surge (Ex): Stalwarts are not marathon runners. Their strength comes in bursts and sudden moments of power. Whenever a stalwart successfully grapples or pins an enemy, they enter an Adrenaline Surge that lasts until the end of their next turn, granting them abilities above and beyond those who are simply very strong. Maintaining a grapple does not induce an adrenaline surge. Triggering an adrenaline surge during another surge refreshes the duration of the current surge, but triggers any effects triggered by beginning a new adrenaline surge.

    Block With the Chest (Ex): A stalwart overflowing with adrenaline is extraordinarily difficult to hurt. They become tough enough that they can simply shrug off blows entirely. Whenever a stalwart triggers an Adrenaline Surge while unarmored, they gain a pool of temporary hit points equal to their stalwart level plus their Constitution modifier (if it is positive). These temporary hit points stack with all other sources of temporary hit points, but immediately vanish when the Adrenaline Surge ends. Triggering another adrenaline surge while you have temporary hit points from Block With the Chest refills the pool to its maximum.

    Focus (Ex): Stalwarts fight by zeroing in on targets with the singular focus only pure adrenaline can provide. They receive a single Focus point whenever they trigger an Adrenaline Surge, which can be expended on an unarmed attack to declare it as a Powerful Blow, causing it to deal an additional 1d6 damage if it hits. Spending a Focus point is a free action unless otherwise stated. The stalwart loses any unexpended Focus points when their adrenaline surge ends or a new adrenaline surge beginsFAQ. At level 3 and every odd level thereafter, the bonus damage of a Powerful Blow increases by 1d6.

    Barricade (Ex): At level 2, the stalwart's incredible bulk allows them to add their Strength modifier to their natural armor AC bonus as long as they are wearing no armor. The bonus from this ability may not exceed 3 + half their class level. Treat this bonus as a Dodge bonus versus attacks from an opponent the stalwart is grappling.

    Leverage (Ex): Stalwarts quickly learn that size is irrelevant in a fight if you know how to properly apply the strength and center of gravity you possess. Beginning at level 2, when facing a larger opponent, the stalwart is considered to be one size larger for the purpose of size bonuses and size-related features for all combat maneuvers (e.g. a Medium second-level stalwart is able to overrun a Huge giant and gains a +1 to their CMB when attempting the overrun due to being considered Large). This does not actually make the stalwart larger - they still take up the same space, and their AC, attack bonuses, and reach are unaffected. At level 6 and every four levels thereafter, they gain an additional effective size category when facing larger foes, raising their effective size category up to a maximum of the enemy's size category. Beginning at level 18, in addition to the normal progression of this ability, the stalwart ignores any size bonuses that Large or larger enemies receive to their CMD.

    Fighting Style (Ex): Stalwarts fall into two larger camps with how they approach combat: the Ram and the Golem. At level 3, stalwarts must choose which path to follow. This choice may not be changed at a later date through any means. Upon choosing, the stalwart gains one of the following sets of abilities and is considered to have learned one technique of his style. Regardless of fighting style, the stalwart may still trigger an adrenaline surge by successfully initiating a grapple with an enemy. All saving throws required by fighting style abilities have a DC of 10 + half your stalwart level + the relevant ability modifier.
    Spoiler: Fighting Styles

    The stalwart specializes in knocking enemies across the battlefield, becoming a master of mobility and charging. This fighting style specializes in the bull rush and overrun maneuvers.
    • Your Powerful Blow becomes a ram strike. In addition to dealing Powerful Blow damage on hit, the stalwart may make a CMB check to knock back the target 10 feet in any direction. This check gains any bonuses the stalwart has to bull rush attempts, but is not itself a bull rush. The enemy must be knocked back in a straight line and must land further from the stalwart than they began. If knocked into an obstacle, the enemy must make a Fortitude save (DC is Str-based) or fall prone. Ram strikes may not knock back a creature larger than the stalwart, but are considered a combat maneuver for purposes of Leverage.
    • The stalwart may also spend a Focus point on any bull rush attempt he makes to increase the distance a successful check pushes back an enemy by 10 feet.
    • You receive a 10 ft competence bonus to all movement speeds you possess.
    • You may choose to add your Constitution bonus to reflex saves instead of your Dexterity bonus. You may switch which ability score you use for Reflex saves as a free action taken at the start of your turn.
    • You gain the Improved Bull Rush feat, even if you do not meet the prerequisites. If you already possess this feat, you may take any combat feat in its place. You must meet the replacement feat's prerequisites.
    • You trigger an adrenaline surge any time you force an enemy to move at least ten feet.

    At level 12, rams gain the following new abilities:
    • Ram strikes can now knock the victim back any distance up to 20 feet.
    • Spending a Focus point to augment a bull rush now increases the distance the enemy is pushed by 20 feet instead of 10 feet.
    • Leverage may cause you to be treated as up to one size category larger than your target. At level 18, you ignore all nonmagical conditional modifiers an enemy receives to its CMD (e.g. bonuses from extra legs or racial traits).
    • You gain the Greater Bull Rush feat, even if you do not meet the prerequisites. If you already possess this feat, you may take any combat feat in its place. You must meet the replacement feat's prerequisites.

    The stalwart specializes in becoming a massive and imposing behemoth, becoming a master of reactions and control. This fighting style specializes in the trip and grapple combat maneuvers.
    • You gain the golem stance ability. While in an adrenaline surge, your menacing presence imposes your will across the battlefield, increasing your threatened area by 5 feet. You may move 5 feet as a free action to put a creature in your reach before performing attacks of opportunity provoked while in this stance. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity or count against your movement for the round.
    • You may spend a Focus point when an enemy in your threatened area takes a 5-foot step or attacks you to make an attack of opportunity against them. This attack of opportunity must be an unarmed strike or a trip attempt. The attack of opportunity occurs after the triggering action resolves.
    • You may make one additional attack of opportunity each round. This stacks with Combat Reflexes and other abilities that grant additional attacks of opportunity.
    • You may choose to add your Constitution bonus to Will saves instead of your Wisdom bonus. You may switch which ability score you use for Will saves as a free action taken at the start of your turn.
    • You gain the Improved Trip feat, even if you do not meet the prerequisites. If you already possess this feat, you may take any combat feat in its place. You must meet the replacement feat's prerequisites.
    • You trigger an adrenaline surge any time you knock an enemy prone.

    At level 12, golems gain the following new abilities:
    • Your golem stance increases your threatened area by 10 feet. You may move up to 10 feet as a free action before making attacks of opportunity during a golem stance. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
    • You gain the Greater Trip feat, even if you do not meet the prerequisites. If you already possess this feat, you may take any combat feat in its place. You must meet the replacement feat's prerequisites.
    • You may make additional attacks of opportunity each round equal to your Constitution modifier (minimum 1 additional AoO per round). This replaces the one additional AoO granted by the base fighting style.

    Technique: Each stalwart approaches combat differently, using slightly different techniques in slightly different scenarios. To reflect this, at level 4 and every three levels thereafter, the stalwart may select a new ability from the following list. Ram stalwarts may select golem techniques they qualify for, and vice versa. They must meet the prerequisites for the ability they select. All Techniques are Extraordinary abilities unless otherwise noted. All saving throws required by techniques have a DC of 10 + half your stalwart level + the relevant ability modifier.
    Spoiler: Stalwart Techniques

    Tackle (Ram):
    The stalwart may spend a Focus point to automatically be considered to be grappling an opponent after succeeding at a bull rush attempt against them. They must be adjacent to the opponent at the conclusion of the bull rush to use this technique.

    Momentum (Ram):
    When making a bull rush attempt as part of a charge, the stalwart may spend a Focus point to roll the attempt twice and pick the better result. Additionally, they may roll twice and take the better result for Acrobatics checks to make a jump with a running start, and all jumps they make in an adrenaline surge are considered to have a running start.

    Intervene (Ram):
    Requires one ram technique.
    A ram must keep its foes on their toes. Or, when they dare to harm the ram's allies, off them. When an enemy declares an attack on an ally while being threatened by the stalwart, they may expend a Focus point and an attack of opportunity to make a bull rush attempt as a free action. If the attempt succeeds, the stalwart deals their Powerful Blow damage to the attacker and the attack fails.

    Out of my Way (Ram):
    Requires one ram technique.
    The stalwart gains the Improved Overrun feat as a bonus feat, even if they do not meet the prerequisites. Additionally, they may make an overrun attempt during a charge as a free action once per charge. Enemies are knocked prone by any successful overrun attempt, even if the stalwart beats their CMD by less than 5. He may spend a Focus point before any overrun attempt to cause a successful attempt to knock the target back ten feet and deal Powerful Blow damage in addition to knocking them prone. This technique counts as possessing the Charge Through feat for prerequisites purposes.

    Unstoppable Force (Ram):
    Requires Out of my Way.
    The stalwart may ignore difficult terrain and does not provoke attacks of opportunity from movement made as part of a charge while in an Adrenaline Surge. The stalwart's movement during a charge is treated as flight, though it must begin and end on terrain that can support his weight. Additionally, the stalwart may deal unarmed damage to one unattended object in his path and, if the damage destroys the object, continue charging beyond it. This damage ignores the object's hardness if the stalwart is in an Adrenaline Surge. Destroying an object in this manner during a charge grants a bonus on the first attack roll made as part of the charge equal to the stalwart's Constitution modifier (minimum +0).

    Ram's Impact (Ram):
    Requires two ram techniques.
    If the stalwart forces an enemy to move by any means and that movement takes them through another enemy's square, the stalwart may spend a Focus point to slam them into each other, dealing Powerful Blow damage to the enemy struck by the moving enemy. This does not impede the moving enemy's movement.

    Clifftop Leap (Ram):
    Requires three ram techniques.
    The stalwart is no longer bound to the earth, though they cannot actually fly. A stalwart may spend a Focus point to leap up to a distance of their move speed as a move action without making an Acrobatics check. If they successfully grapple a creature in the air after this, they both fall, even if the creature can fly, though the stalwart takes no falling damage from the descent. If they do not grapple something or someone, they fall and take damage normally.

    Launch (Ram):
    Requires three ram techniques.
    The stalwart may make an additional grapple check against a grappled opponent to turn them into a living projectile. If their grapple check succeeds, the stalwart may hurl them at breakneck speed, dealing damage equal to their Powerful Blow damage, plus 1d6 per size category of the enemy beyond Medium, in a 30-foot line originating from the stalwart. Creatures in the line may make a Reflex save (DC is Str-based) to halve this damage. The thrown enemy lands prone at the end of the line and does not receive a save against this damage. If there are solid obstacles in the path, they take the same amount of damage. If the damage does not destroy the obstacle, the line of effect and the victim's movement end at the obstacle. The enemy's movement from being thrown is treated as being bull rushed for purposes of triggering attacks of opportunity and effects related to forced movement.

    Mountain Charge (Ram):
    Requires four ram techniques.
    When a stalwart makes a bull rush attempt after moving at least 10 ft, they may expend a Focus point to bull rush up to two enemies within their reach in addition to their initial target at no penalty. The stalwart makes only one check to determine whether they can bull rush their targets, and may push each target as far as their roll allows, though they must all be pushed in the same direction. If the bull rush succeeds against the main target, they take the stalwart's Powerful Blow damage. If the stalwart spends a second Focus point, all targets successfully bull rushed by this ability take Powerful Blow damage.

    Avalanche (Ram):
    Requires four ram techniques.
    The stalwart may spend a Focus point when performing a bull rush to treat it as an avalanche. When the bull rushed target is moving, any enemies whose space they pass through are bull rushed by the same CMB check result as the initial bull rush. They must be moved in the same direction as the initial victim and cannot move further than that victim. If this movement restriction causes enemies to end the bull rush sharing the same space as another creature, all creatures sharing space are entangled until they move out of each other's space.

    Throat Slam (Golem):
    The stalwart may expend a Focus point after successfully knocking an opponent prone to automatically be considered to be grappling them. They must be adjacent to the enemy to use this technique.

    Stay On Me (Golem):
    If an enemy moves out of a square threatened by the stalwart while the stalwart is in an adrenaline surge, even with a five-foot step, the stalwart may take a 5-foot step in response as a free action. This does not prevent the stalwart from taking a 5-foot step on their turn. The stalwart may not use this ability to follow the same enemy more than once per round.

    Haymaker (Golem):
    Requires one golem technique.
    The stalwart may expend a Focus point after hitting an enemy with an unarmed strike to make a trip attempt as a free action. If successful, the attempt deals Powerful Blow damage. For the next round, an enemy tripped by a Haymaker must make a Will save to attempt to stand up from being prone (DC is Str-based), and provokes attacks of opportunity if it fails this save. The duration of this effect increases by 1 round at level 5 and every 5 levels thereafter.

    Intercede (Golem):
    Requires one golem technique.
    A golem must keep his foes under control. When an enemy declares an attack against an ally while threatened by the stalwart, he may spend a focus point as an attack of opportunity to make a trip attempt against the enemy as a free action. If the attempt succeeds, the golem deals their Powerful Blow damage to the enemy and the attack fails.

    Warded Presence (Golem):
    Requires one golem technique.
    The stalwart's body moves like a mystical blur during an adrenaline surge, deflecting attacks from all targets. When an ally within the stalwart's threatened area takes damage, the stalwart may spend an attack of opportunity to move into reach and take any amount of the damage himself, up to the amount of hit points currently in his Block With the Chest pool. Additionally, the size of the stalwart's Block With the Chest pool increases by his Strength modifier.

    Clash (Golem):
    Requires two golem techniques.
    If the stalwart is grappling someone when targeted by an attack or spell from a creature he is not grappling, he may spend a Focus point as an immediate action to make a grapple check against a creature he is grappling. If the check succeeds, he shunts his victim into the path of the attack, making them the new target. The attack otherwise resolves normally against its new victim. If the new victim is not a valid target of the attack or spell, the attack or spell fails.

    Immovable Object (Golem):
    Requires two golem techniques.
    If the stalwart is under the effect of any spell or other effect that allowed for an initial save, they may expend a Focus point to repeat that save with a +4 bonus as a standard action, even if the effect would otherwise prevent them from taking such an action. If the stalwart is under another being's control, the technique is instead usable at the end of their turn as a free action. If they make the save, they are no longer subject to the effect, though it does not end for anyone else under the same effect.

    Adamantine Tether (Golem):
    Requires three golem techniques.
    Any time a creature that the stalwart threatens casts a spell that teleports the caster, the stalwart may expend a Focus point to make a grapple check against them as an attack of opportunity. If the grapple succeeds, the stalwart teleports along with the enemy. They arrive in the same square, still grappling. If the creature is a willing ally, the stalwart need not grapple them to teleport along with them, though he must still spend an attack of opportunity. This is a supernatural ability.

    Stone Barricade (Golem):
    Requires three golem techniques.
    The stalwart is so imposing that he blocks line of sight and effect as if there were a solid, opaque wall in his space while in an Adrenaline Surge. The stalwart may allow any creature's line of sight and effect to pass through him normally at his option, though he can only change who is affected by this technique during his turn. He never blocks line of sight or effect to himself. Bull rush and trip attempts against him automatically fail while in an Adrenaline Surge.

    Mithril Counter (Golem):
    Requires four golem techniques.
    If a stalwart is targeted by a spell from a spellcaster or other source of whose presence they are aware, or if the source/spellcaster is threatened by the stalwart, they may expend a Focus point to simply grab the spell from the air. As an immediate action, the stalwart may make an attack roll against an AC of 20 + the caster level of the spell. If they hit, the spell is crushed in their grip and dissipates harmlessly. A successful use of this technique refills the stalwart's Block With the Chest pool, though it does not trigger an Adrenaline Surge. If the Stalwart expends a second Focus point before using this technique, a successful use triggers an Adrenaline Surge. This is a supernatural ability.

    Cold Iron Stance (Golem):
    Requires four golem techniques.
    The stalwart may spend a Focus point to enter a cold iron stance that lasts until the start of his next turn. This stance may be entered concurrently with a golem stance. The air itself around the stalwart becomes imposing and discouraging, causing his entire threatened area to grant cover to allies. Any enemy making an attack while inside the stalwart's threatened area that does not include the stalwart as a target provokes an attack of opportunity. If a spell is cast with an area of effect that overlaps the stalwart's threatened area, the stalwart may spend an attack of opportunity to make an attack roll against an AC of 20 + the caster level of the spell. If they hit, the area of effect spell does not affect any area that overlaps with the stalwart's threatened area. If this ability is used against an area of effect spell with a non-instantaneous duration, the effect is negated in the overlapping area until Cold Iron Stance ends, and the affected area does not move with the stalwart.

    Feat of Strength (Ex): At 5th level, a stalwart is powerful enough to perform dizzying feats of physical prowess when the situation calls for it. He gains one of the following Feats of Strength. At level 9 and every four levels thereafter, he may select another from the list. Using a Feat of Strength is a free action unless otherwise specified. The stalwart may perform a Feat of Strength a number of times per day equal to three plus his Constitution modifier (minimum 3). Any Feat of Strength that does not require activation is always active. All Feats of Strength are extraordinary abilities unless otherwise noted.
    Spoiler: Feats of Strength

    The stalwart may use this ability to reroll an Acrobatics, Climb, Escape Artist, Fly, Ride, or Swim check, even after the result has been declared. He may not use this ability to reroll the same check more than once.

    The stalwart adds his Strength modifier to Disable Device checks as well as his Intelligence modifier, is considered trained in Disable Device and treats it as a class skill, and is able to disarm magical traps as if he had the Trapfinding class feature. However, any lock he fails to open is jammed, increasing its DC to unlock by 20 and making it impossible to unlock by normal means (e.g. a key or an entered combination), and any active trap he fails to disarm is immediately triggered, regardless of the amount by which he fails his check. Any mechanical device disabled by a successful use of this ability is destroyed and cannot be re-armed or repurposed by another Disable Device check. The stalwart may not take 20 on Disable Device checks. This ability does not require activation.

    Wrecking Crew:
    When making a Strength check to break an object, the stalwart may use this ability before making the check to add his base attack bonus to the roll. He may expend two uses of Feats of Strength to treat the result of the check as if he had rolled a twenty. This does not cause the check to automatically succeed.

    Toss Me:
    The stalwart may activate this ability as a standard action to throw any willing creature he can bull rush as a ranged attack with a range increment of 20 ft, targeting a 5-foot square to which he has line of effect. The stalwart is considered proficient with the thrown object for this attack roll. The attack roll must hit an AC of 10, and a thrown creature lands on their feet on a successful attack if there is stable footing in the target square. If there is a creature or object in the square, a creature thrown at the square successfully may make a melee attack against it at their highest base attack bonus as a free action they may take outside of their turn, adding the stalwart's Strength modifier to the attack roll and damage roll as a circumstance bonus, and lands in the nearest unoccupied square. If the stalwart misses, the failure follows GM discretion (if thrown over a pit or river, for instance, the thrown creature may fall into the hazard, or it may simply land a random distance/direction from the target square), but the thrown creature always lands prone.

    Precision Violence:
    The stalwart adds his Powerful Blow damage to unarmed attacks against unattended objects. This ability does not require activation. In addition, he may activate this ability to treat the damage of his unarmed attacks as if it originated from a disintegrate spell against objects or magical force effects for one minute.

    Adamantine Spine:
    When this ability is used, the stalwart's carrying capacity is quadrupled for a number of minutes equal to his Constitution modifier. Using this ability multiple times extends the effect's duration. This ability does not stack with any other ability that increases carrying capacity.

    Matter Over Mind:
    The magic that powers the stalwart's incredible abilities allows him to bend enchantments to his will with sheer physical strength. The stalwart gains Use Magic Device as a class skill and may add his Strength modifier in addition to his Charisma modifier for Use Magic Device checks. This ability does not require activation.

    Mason's Fist:
    The stalwart may activate this ability to cast stone shape, as the spell, as a caster of his stalwart level. The effects of the spell are achieved by carefully applied strength rather than magic, making this an extraordinary ability. At 13th level, this ability can affect any naturally-occurring, solid, and nonmagical material other than exotic substances such as adamantine and mithral. At 17th level, this ability can affect any nonmagical material.

    Watchful Word:
    When the stalwart triggers an adrenaline surge, he may activate this ability as a free action to inspire an ally to great feats of endurance. He grants his pool of temporary hit points from Block with the Chest to an ally within his line of sight rather than himself. The ally must be able to see and hear the stalwart. The pool dissipates normally when the stalwart's adrenaline surge ends or the stalwart refreshes their Block with the Chest pool.

    Rip the Veil:
    The stalwart may activate this ability as a full-round action to ignore the effects of an active illusion, as though he had succeeded on a Will save against the effect. If the stalwart uses this ability to target any effect that is not an illusion or does not allow for a save, nothing happens and the use is expended. Beginning at level 13, he may expend two uses of his Feats of Strength to instead be under the effects of a true seeing spell for a number of rounds equal to his Constitution modifier (minimum 1). This is a supernatural ability.

    Seeing Red (Ex): At 6th level, a stalwart can, with exceptional strain, flush herself with adrenaline without the thrill of combat. Once per day, as a swift action, she may enter an adrenaline surge. She may use this ability an additional time per day for every 3 levels beyond 6th level.

    Mettle (Ex): At 8th level and higher, a stalwart can resist magical and unusual attacks with great willpower or fortitude. If he makes a successful Will or Fortitude save against an attack that normally would have a lesser effect on a successful save (such as any spell with a saving throw entry of Will half or Fortitude partial), he instead completely negates the effect. An unconscious or sleeping stalwart does not gain the benefit of mettle.

    Warden's Grip (Su): At 11th level and higher, a stalwart ignores any magical effect, such as freedom of movement, that prevents him from performing combat maneuvers on an opponent during an Adrenaline Surge. This does not negate any other benefit of the effect, such as negating slows, and does not affect any bonuses or penalties that may apply to the stalwart's CMB or the target's CMD. This ability does not allow the stalwart to perform combat maneuvers on creatures that are naturally immune, such as attempting to trip an ooze.

    Improved Mettle (Ex): At 12th level, a stalwart gains improved mettle. This ability works as Mettle, but upon a failed fortitude or will save against an ability with a lesser effect upon a successful save, the stalwart only receives the lesser effect. The stalwart does not gain this benefit while unconscious or asleep.

    Overexertion (Ex): At 15th level, the stalwart always has adrenaline rushing through their system, no matter the situation. They always begin their turn with at least one Focus point, even if they are not currently in an Adrenaline Surge, and their Adrenaline Surges now provide two Focus points. If the stalwart still has the Focus point granted by Overexertion when they trigger an Adrenaline Surge, that Focus point is lost before the surge begins.

    Indomitable (Ex): At 20th level, the stalwart reaches the pinnacle of his training, becoming nearly impossible to kill. They trigger an Adrenaline Surge at the start of their turn automatically.

    Additionally, he gains abilities depending upon his fighting style.
    Spoiler: Indomitable

    Ram: The charge of a master ram stalwart cannot be stopped by any known force. He is now considered to be two size categories larger than any enemy he faces for purposes of combat maneuvers (as Leverage) if he is not already two or more size categories largerFAQ. All successful attacks he makes knock enemies back like a ram strike, and performing an actual ram strike instead dazes a struck target for 1d4 rounds. A Fortitude save (Str-based) negates the daze. Finally, the stalwart is treated as having a freedom of movement effect active on them while charging or performing any combat maneuver. This is an extraordinary effect.

    Golem: A master golem stalwart is like a wall of solid rock, nearly impossible to move against his will or bypass. He gains the immunities of the elemental creature type as well as immunity to mind-affecting spells and death effects. The stalwart's golem stance expands by an additional 5 feet and lets him move 5 feet further before making attacks of opportunity. Finally, while in a golem stance, anyone taking more than a single action (as though staggered) while threatened by the stalwart provokes an attack of opportunity. Enemies are aware of this effect.
    Last edited by Cheesy74; 2022-01-05 at 10:57 AM.
    The Phase Dancer - A spellsword who has learned to use teleportation to stab people.
    The Stalwart - An unarmed, unarmored wall of muscle that fights with surges of strength and massive combat maneuver combos.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground

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    Default Re: Wrestling Mountains: The Stalwart

    This is pretty amazing, I've been looking for something to fit this exact archetype (namely, the Boisterous Bruiser brawling type. I've been using Barbarian + homebrew for this sort of thing, but not every character of this type should have Rage, y'know?).

    Alright, the actual PEACH'ing. First Thoughts: It's kinda bare. Most of the abilities past level 4 are "Numbers go up". Now, admittedly, this can be greatly fixed by adding more techniques, and the addition of mettle is very nice, but it still seems empty.

    I'm also tempted to give it some bonus feats, because every martial character needs more bonus feats. I'm thinking level 4 and every 4 levels thereafter, gain a bonus [fighter] feat, with an effective fighter level of Lvl-2 for prerequisite purposes. (To be honest the fighter level thing is less necessary, it's more a part of the houserules I have in effect, in which the concept of "effective fighter levels" is fairly significant. The Bonus feats is the important part to take from this.)

    As for additional techniques... hmm. I'm thinking of something like "blocking an enemy attack and grappling them in one immediate action". Dunno how to make that work mechanically (opposed attack rolls to block? and then free action grapple if it worked?). I'd suggest maybe making it only work against natural weapons perhaps, the idea of grabbing the spear and using it to drag them into a grapple comes to mind however. Possibly have a similar Technique that allows blocking then disarming?

    Grappling definitely needs a way to beat freedom of movement, and a Tech would work for that. Maybe requiring "Still Here" as a prereq, maybe vice-versa.

    Maybe one for smashing objects (allow you to ignore hardness of object, and also sunder without provoking?). Something to make enemies hit themselves with their own attacks ("Stop Hitting Yourself" has a nice ring to it). Something to inflict conditions on struck opponents (stuff like daze/stun?). Something that builds off mauling sweeps that lets them throw the foe, struck/tossed enemies end up prone. Go Beowulf on your enemies and literally dis-arm them, then beat them to death with their own arms. Ways to emulate drunken fighting styles. Shooting balls of energy out of your hands ("Hadoken!"). Sleeper holds. Flying kicks. Punch spells back towards the caster. Toss giant boulders at people. Knock dragons out of the sky.

    I also think there should be Techs a bit more broad, not so much combat as utility stuff. Bonuses to jumping and stuff ("Leap Tall Buildings in a Single Bound!"). Ways to boost intimidate or use it more easily (as swift actions/against multiples people). Juggernaut your way through walls. Ridiculous carrying capacity. Become master of taunting (get some crowd control up in here).

    It also needs more regular class features, too. First thing comes to mind: Ways to deal with conditions (Maybe just shrug them off, or reduce to less powerful versions (ie exhaustion becomes fatigue). Keep moving straight through anything that hinders you (Terrain, hold person, people). No idea for a capstone though.
    When in doubt, homebrew.
    If that doesn't work, use more homebrew.

    Need more homebrew? Check out my Extended Homebrewer's Signature!

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    Default Re: Wrestling Mountains: The Stalwart

    Christmas revamp!

    Techniques have been expanded greatly and broken into two schools - the ram, focusing on charging, moving enemies around the battlefield, and general active abilities, and the golem, focusing on resisting effects, counters, endurance, and passive abilities.

    Capstone is still a WIP and will be getting some love tomorrow.
    The Phase Dancer - A spellsword who has learned to use teleportation to stab people.
    The Stalwart - An unarmed, unarmored wall of muscle that fights with surges of strength and massive combat maneuver combos.

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    Default Re: Wrestling Mountains: The Stalwart

    Apologies for the necromancy, but the class has seen enough love that I think it merits a fresh look. I've been steadily editing this class over the last four years, and it's seen playtesting at levels 1 through 17, so I think it's pretty thoroughly battle tested. It's now a Pathfinder class, and I could use some more experienced eyes on it to get more advice on how to make it even more cohesive and interesting to play.

    Its power level is pretty solidly T3 - at higher levels, it can start pulling off some incredibly high-damage and high-forced-movement combos as a ram and can be extremely hard to hurt or bypass as a golem, but at lower levels, it doesn't feel any stronger than a fighter, just more interesting, so thematically I think it's excellent where it is.

    I want to know if people feel that anything's out of place, if there are large sections that people find uninteresting or weak, or if there are any exploitable features that seem like unintended spikes from its normal power level.

    The core of the class's balance is very simple: if you can consistently pull off an action that triggers an adrenaline surge every turn, you can go on a rampage where your power level is markedly higher than other T3 classes. If you fail to do so for just one turn, your survivability, damage output, and available combat options all plummet, and you're left fumbling to trigger another surge without having the means to do so nearly as easily as before.

    The biggest flaw with their current design is the massive lack of utility outside of combat - I'm considering introducing a second category of techniques that lend themselves to the kind of noncombat utility that makes sense for a burly bruiser, mostly to round out the 'numbers go up' dead levels in the class, but I'm unsure of how to approach that and would love feedback.
    Last edited by Cheesy74; 2018-06-10 at 10:50 PM.
    The Phase Dancer - A spellsword who has learned to use teleportation to stab people.
    The Stalwart - An unarmed, unarmored wall of muscle that fights with surges of strength and massive combat maneuver combos.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground

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    Default Re: Wrestling Mountains: The Stalwart

    This is really cool!

    It's too late tonight for me to give a full review, but I really like the way the class looks!

    My quick thoughts:
    -Level 1 is the weakest I think I've ever seen in a class- Adrenaline Rush is super awkward before you get Imp. Grapple, and Unarmed Strike could use a die size upgrade to not suck.

    -Level 15 mentions a cap of two Focus points, but I don't see that anywhere else.

    "A character with at least one Ram technique gains Improved Bull Rush as a bonus feat. A character with at least one Golem technique gains Improved Trip as a bonus feat". These are nearly feat taxes currently.

    Also, for noncombat options- have you considered la lucha?
    Last edited by aimlessPolymath; 2018-06-11 at 01:25 AM.
    My one piece of homebrew: The Shaman. A Druid replacement with more powerlevel control.
    The bargain bin- malfunctioning, missing, and broken magic items.
    Spirit Barbarian: The Barbarian, with heavy elements from the Shaman. Complete up to level 17.
    The Priest: A cleric reword which ran out of steam. Still a fun prestige class suitable for E6.
    The Coward: Not every hero can fight.

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    Default Re: Wrestling Mountains: The Stalwart

    Level 1 weakness: Definitely a good point, and that matches the issues I've seen in playtesting. I'm a bit wary of frontloading this class too hard to make it an overly powerful one-level dip, but pending further tweaks, I've moved Improved Grapple to level 1 and left Strength to AC at level 2. I'm also thinking about moving Fighting Style to level 3, since level 4 currently has a serious power spike and level 3 is kind of a dead level.

    Overexertion: Yeah, that's bad wording on my part - stalwarts don't technically have a 'cap' on Focus points, but since all Focus points are lost when a new adrenaline surge is triggered, you can't have more Focus points than you get from a single adrenaline surge. Wording changed to clarify that.

    Feat taxes: Agreed. I'll think about how to tweak techniques/combat styles to fix that. The game I'm playtesting the stalwart in has a lot of house rules around Improved Combat Maneuver feats, so I haven't had a good chance to test out how that impacts character builds for stalwarts.

    La Lucha: I love me some lucha libre, but I'm not sure I can think of many non-combat abilities that would provide.
    The Phase Dancer - A spellsword who has learned to use teleportation to stab people.
    The Stalwart - An unarmed, unarmored wall of muscle that fights with surges of strength and massive combat maneuver combos.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground

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    Default Re: Wrestling Mountains: The Stalwart

    In a bit more detail:
    Leverage effectively caps out before it actually caps out; you could give it its capstone effect at 10 and you would almost never notice.

    The Techniques are overall pretty cool! No specific criticism, though I would like to see more general wrestling techniques.

    Block With The Chest's upgrade at 14 is a huge power spike.

    Noncombat abilities generally fall into two categories. The first are certain normal classes of abilities, but with an out-of-combat component rather than normal actions required. An example of this would be setting traps (debuffs/damage), pumping yourself up with a chant (buffs), many kinds of calling spells (summoning), and so on.

    The other type is abilities that are essentially noncombat: crafting, most Curiosities, healing, being a Face, acquiring knowledge through scouting or skills. Stealth also falls into this category.

    Given that the class works fine in-combat, I'd generally shy away from adding more combat features unlocked through noncombat action, but I think that social features are something that could be added. A few that come to mind are a Lucha-like wrestling persona, the ability to inspire people bard-like, and the ability to generate a reputation via achievements that can be "cashed in" for favors from fans.
    My one piece of homebrew: The Shaman. A Druid replacement with more powerlevel control.
    The bargain bin- malfunctioning, missing, and broken magic items.
    Spirit Barbarian: The Barbarian, with heavy elements from the Shaman. Complete up to level 17.
    The Priest: A cleric reword which ran out of steam. Still a fun prestige class suitable for E6.
    The Coward: Not every hero can fight.

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    Default Re: Wrestling Mountains: The Stalwart

    Here's a Stalwart archetype I've been working on that specializes in mass attacks, sunders, and regenerating damage over single, powerful strikes:

    Hydra Stalwart

    Hydra stalwarts aren't quite walls of meat like their stalwart contemporaries. Typically, they're wiry, aggressive, and fast, and while they can't take as much punishment in one go as a golem or ram, as long as they keep venting their aggression on whatever is available, they're nearly impossible to take down.

    Spoiler: A note on playing sunder-focused characters

    Hydra stalwarts have a very large amount of mechanics that revolve around sundering objects. A lot of the biggest benefits you can get from sunders (permanently disarming an enemy, completely eliminating their armor bonus to AC) require destroying items, which can mean losing out on valuable loot the party would have otherwise received.

    I've chosen not to make an ability to circumvent this problem part of the core Hydra stalwart archetype for the sake of allowing the GM to control how their story feels, but I strongly suggest your GM ruling that, in some set of circumstances, characters are able to repair items destroyed in combat, and ideally, allowing the enchantments on the items to persist when they are repaired. Options to limit this ability include requiring a number of ranks in a corresponding Craft skill based on the item's caster level or enhancement bonus, or simply providing some limited window after an object's destruction where the magic enchanting it persists if it is repaired in time.

    Regardless of how you choose to address this, note that not providing this ability will mean that the hydra stalwart's most powerful options in combat often require them to actively hamper the party's acquisition of new items and wealth. If this is a dynamic your GM finds valuable, then it's their prerogative to leave the rules on object destruction as they stand in the core rules, but I hope that this note allows them to make that decision an informed one.

    Seethe (Ex)
    While in an adrenaline surge, you begin to Seethe. For every point of hit point damage taken while in an adrenaline surge and unarmored, add a point to your Seething pool. This pool cannot exceed twice your class level plus your Constitution modifier. Whenever you deal your unarmed strike damage to an enemy with a CR of at least half your character level, you may spend a number of points up to half your class level, rounding up, from your Seething pool to heal an equal amount of hit point damage.

    When your adrenaline surge ends, your Seething pool immediately drops to zero.

    Abilities that specifically refill your Block With the Chest pool (e.g. the Mithril Counter technique) let you spend points up to your class level from your Seething pool instead. This does not apply to abilities that merely trigger an adrenaline surge.

    This ability replaces Block with the Chest.

    Raining Blows (Ex)
    After you resolve an unarmed attack or sunder attempt as a standard action, you may spend a Focus point to make an unarmed attack using your highest base attack bonus as a swift action. You may also activate Raining Blows by spending a Focus point as an immediate action after making an unarmed attack as an attack of opportunity. Raining Blows can never trigger itself.

    At level 7, you may instead make two unarmed attacks, though the second attack is made at a -5 penalty.

    At level 14, you may make three unarmed attacks, with the second at a -5 penalty and the third at a -10 penalty.

    At level 20, you may instead spend two Focus points after resolving an unarmed attack as a standard action to make a full attack as a swift action. Spending one Focus point to make three unarmed attacks becomes a free action that can trigger only once per valid unarmed strike.

    If a stalwart technique states that it deals Powerful Blow damage, you may instead use Raining Blows without spending an additional Focus point (you may not use the level 20 two-Focus-point feature). If you are not in melee range of the target when this damage triggers, you may instead deal your unarmed strike damage to them.

    This ability replaces Powerful Blow.

    Many-Headed Strikes (Ex)
    Starting at level 3, the stalwart applies a stacking -1 penalty to attack rolls against targets other than the stalwart when they hit an enemy with an unarmed strike or perform a successful sunder maneuver. The penalty lasts until the start of her next turn. Enemies affected by this penalty are bruised. This counts as a Hydra technique.

    The stalwart may perform a powerful sunder maneuver as a standard action that can also sunder natural weapons, natural armor, and unarmed strikes, inflicting the broken condition on the targeted weapon or natural armor as though it were manufactured. This special sunder deals the stalwart's unarmed strike damage on success. Applying the broken condition to a creature's natural armor reduces their AC by 2 or half the stalwart's class level, whichever is higher, even if this penalty exceeds their natural armor bonus. You cannot sunder the natural armor of creatures wearing manufactured armor or creatures that do not have a natural armor bonus. The broken condition on natural weapons and armor lasts for 1 hour or until the target receives any amount of magical healing, whichever comes first.

    The stalwart triggers an adrenaline surge when she sunders an enemy's weapon or hits the same enemy with two consecutive unarmed attacks.

    This ability replaces Fighting Style.

    Techniques (Ex)
    In addition to Ram and Golem techniques, Hydra stalwarts gain access to Hydra techniques. Only Hydra stalwarts have access to these techniques.

    Spoiler: Hydra Techniques

    Plunging Fangs (Hydra):
    Initiating or maintaining a grapple against an enemy applies a stack of bruised. When you successfully grapple an enemy, you may make an unarmed strike against them as a free action. This unarmed strike can trigger Raining Blows.

    Intimidation (Hydra):
    The attack roll penalty from bruised is doubled for enemies attacking with a weapon with the broken condition.

    Barbs (Hydra):
    Requires one hydra technique.
    Whenever an enemy makes an attack roll with a weapon given the broken condition by a sunder attempt from the stalwart, they take 1d6 points of damage. This damage increases by 1d6 at level 4 and every three stalwart levels thereafter.

    Snap (Hydra):
    Requires one hydra technique.
    When an enemy you threaten attacks an ally, you may spend a Focus point to make a sunder attempt against the weapon used in the attack as an attack of opportunity. If the sunder attempt succeeds, the attack fails and you may activate Raining Blows on the target without spending a Focus point.

    Sweeping Blows (Hydra):
    Requires two hydra techniques.
    While in an adrenaline surge, you may target two creatures with each attack you make with your unarmed strike. The creatures must be adjacent to each other and must both be within your natural reach. Make a single attack roll and compare it to both targets' ACs, and deal the same damage to each target you successfully hit. Any special effects that augment a single attack (such as the magus's Spellstrike ability, but not the stalwart's Many-Headed Strikes) only apply to one target, chosen before the attack roll is made.

    Aura of Menace (Hydra):
    Requires three hydra techniques.
    Enemies who are bruised must spend an additional 5 feet of movement to move out of a square that the stalwart threatens. Enemies with at least three stacks of bruised must make a Will save (DC 15+Con modifier) to make any movement, including teleportation, that takes them further away from her. This is a mind-affecting fear effect.

    Obliterate (Hydra):
    Requires three hydra techniques.
    Sundering a natural weapon that already has the broken condition destroys it, making the creature unable to use that type of natural attack. If the creature has multiple natural attacks of a single type, it may still attack with any natural attacks that remain undestroyed.
    Sundering a creature's natural armor when it is already broken destroys it, causing them to take additional damage from physical attacks equal to the AC penalty imposed by the broken condition.
    Any amount of instantaneous magical healing removes both of these effects, but fast healing does not. They otherwise last until the creature gets eight hours of rest.

    Cascading Strikes Technique (Hydra):
    Requires four hydra techniques.
    The hydra may spend a Focus point to enter a special stance that enhances her balance and quickens her attacks. Each time she hits with an unarmed strike (other than those granted by this ability), she may immediately make a second unarmed strike as a free action with the same attack bonus. This ability ends when any attack granted by it misses, or at the start of her next turn, whichever comes first. If she instead spends two Focus points, missing with a bonus unarmed strike does not end this ability.

    Fury of the Lernaean Hydra (Hydra):
    Requires four hydra techniques.
    While in an adrenaline surge, when making multiple attacks as part of a single action, the hydra may move any distance between each attack, as long as the total distance moved does not exceed her movement speed. The hydra is staggered in the round following using this technique unless she spends an additional Focus point.

    This ability modifies Techniques.

    Indomitable (Ex)
    At level 20, Hydra stalwarts still automatically trigger an adrenaline surge at the beginning of their turn.
    The maximum size of your Seething pool increases to half of your maximum hit points. Your Seething pool empties at the end of combat. A successful sunder attempt by the stalwart applies the broken condition to all equipment worn and wielded by the target.
    Last edited by Cheesy74; 2020-10-08 at 04:23 PM.
    The Phase Dancer - A spellsword who has learned to use teleportation to stab people.
    The Stalwart - An unarmed, unarmored wall of muscle that fights with surges of strength and massive combat maneuver combos.

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