Excerpts Archive | 2/26/2010
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Player's Handbook 3 Excerpts: Battlemind

In today's Player's Handbook 3 preview, we turn to the battleminds, of whom it's said: "their mind is a far deadlier weapon than some ill-crafted bit of iron." We also show off one of the battlemind's hybrid character options.

Hybrid Characters

A young apprentice wizard is forced into the military when her hometown is sacked by orcs. After leading a squadron in the baron’s army for three months to drive back the invading horde, she retires from military service to enter an adventuring career as a warlord/wizard.

A lone barbarian from the far north travels to the gleaming cities of the south, where a local thieves’ guild recruits him as hired muscle. Along the way, he picks up several tricks of cunning and wit, all the better to defeat those who think him nothing more than a savage. When he later becomes an adventurer, this barbarian/rogue relies on both his talents as a burglar and his ability to unleash the raging beast that still lurks within his heart.

The hybrid character rules allow you to combine elements of two character classes into a whole. Effectively, you create a brand-new class from portions of two classes. Like the multiclass feats introduced in the Player’s Handbook, these rules let you reflect a more varied array of character abilities than traditional classes do. Whether you’re doing this to reflect your character’s elaborate backstory, to combine different mechanical elements to create a potent new combination, or to fill out a group that needs just a little something extra, the end result is the same: Your hybrid character gives up depth of ability in exchange for greater flexibility.

The Battlemind

As wanderers, mercenaries, and adventurers, battleminds are carefree warriors who seek only to test their skill against the mightiest and most dangerous opponents. Battleminds possess a potent combination of psionic and physical skill, allowing them to use their magic to manipulate and deceive their foes even as their fighting skill lets them carve a swath through enemy ranks. Battleminds tend to be bold and sometimes arrogant, an attitude earned through bringing ruin to enemies over the course of many conflicts.

You might not share your fellow battleminds’ arrogance, but you do have access to an array of combat abilities that let you manipulate, baffle, and defeat your enemies. Your mind is as deadly as your weapon, and with the aid of your psionic magic, your body can turn aside attacks as effectively as a suit of plate armor can.

Let those who would stand against your might quiver in terror when you approach, for you are a battlemind, and supremacy in combat is your birthright.

Hybrid Battlemind

When you start with a sturdy mind and body, you can add almost any other set of talents to achieve a strong whole—or so you like to tell yourself. What led you to add another class’s abilities to your own mental and physical perfection as a battlemind? Do you secretly believe your psionic talents to be unreliable, at least compared to a strong blade or a reliance on other forms of magic? Or have you only recently discovered your psionic capabilities?

As a hybrid battlemind, you give up some battlefield control and psionic tricks in order to add another class’s features and powers to your arsenal.

Role: Defender
Power Source: Psionic
Key Abilities: Constitution, Wisdom, Charisma
Armor Proficiencies: Cloth, leather, hide, chainmail, scale; light shield, heavy shield
Weapon Proficiencies: Simple melee, military melee, simple ranged
Bonus to Defense: +1 Will
Hit Points at 1st Level: 7.5
Hit Points per Level Gained: 3
Healing Surges per Day: 4.5
Class Skills: Arcana (Int), Athletics (Str), Bluff (Cha), Diplomacy (Cha), Endurance (Con), Heal (Wis), Insight (Wis), Intimidate (Cha)
Class Features: Psionic Augmentation (hybrid), Psionic Defense (hybrid)
Hybrid Talent Options: Battlemind Armor Proficiency, Psionic Study

Class Features

Hybrid battleminds have the following class features.

Psionic Augmentation (Hybrid): This class feature functions as the battlemind class feature, except that your power point total varies depending on your selection of powers. See “Psionic Augmentation and Hybrid Characters” to determine the number of power points you have.

Psionic Defense (Hybrid): This class feature functions as the battlemind class feature, except that you must choose either blurred step or mind spike.

Hybrid Talent Options

If you take the Hybrid Talent feat, you can select one of the following options.

Battlemind Armor Proficiency: You gain proficiency with leather armor, hide armor, chainmail, scale armor, light shields, and heavy shields.

Psionic Study: This class feature functions exactly as the battlemind class feature.

Suggested Combinations

The battlemind/fighter has plenty of durability, but you’ll need to assign high scores to both Strength and Constitution, with Wisdom as your third-best score.

The ardent/battlemind also needs two high scores—Constitution and Charisma—but can manage without a third good score. This combination also gives you the full array of power points for your augmentable powers.

A battlemind/warlock can get away with only one high ability score (Constitution), and Charisma makes a great secondary score for both classes. Unfortunately, you’re a little fragile for a defender, so either shore up those defenses or find a tough ally to stand next to.

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