Previews for May and Beyond


Tordek Brighthammer,
Warchief of the Iron Halls

You are an adventuring opportunist, willing to go wherever the next fight leads you. You'll take up quests, you'll accept commissions, and you'll even consider taking on leadership roles, as long as you can practice your warrior's craft. You know fighting -- none know it better. Other combatants with exotic martial styles or those who mix spells with swords obscure what is most important -- who's the best? Who can put their sword in an enemy's guts first? You, that's who. You are a straight-up, no-nonsense person, and you know the value of your hard-won, long practiced skills. While you take great risks in hopes of receiving an equally big payout, for you the thrill of combat is at least as compelling as the loot at adventure's end.

The alternative class features presented here provide alternatives to the traditional full attack routine. The fighter who takes one or more of these options seeks the flexibility to alter his tactics based on the situation he faces. Against a foe that has a high AC or damage reduction, trading less useful second, third, or fourth attacks for tangible benefits represents a significant boon to the fighter.

Suggested Backgrounds (choose one): Gladiator, Guttersnipe, Noble Scion, Soldier.

Suggested Personality Archetypes (choose one): Challenger, Companion, Leader, Martyr, Mercenary, Orphan, Rebel, Renegade, Royalty, Seeker, Simple Soul, Strategist, Theorist.

Character Themes

One or more of the following character themes could apply to you.

Comrade in Arms: In a fight, your best weapons are your friends. Your skill in arms can get you only so far, but without a friend to screen attacks while you drink down a potion of curing and an ally with whom you can flank a monster, your ability to win in the face of any odds would be greatly diminished. Though you're not ordinarily a sentimental person, the bonds of warfare link you with your companions, and you consider them brothers and sisters to a significant degree. You regularly put yourself in harm's way for their sake, and you like to believe they'd do the same for you.

"We can take them if we work as a team!"

"I'll charge straight in -- you take the left flank, and you the right. And how about some archery to distract them?"

Formally Trained: Unlike many fighters, you have a special pedigree -- your skill in the craft comes from formal training in an academy. Your academy training imparted to you all the right-of-way rules in regard to attacks and defenses, should you ever be called upon to fight in a noble tournament, as opposed to the desperate battles below the ground in which you usually find yourself embroiled.

You know all the proper terms for swordsmanship, and know that all blades fall into four major categories: foils, epees, sabers, and longswords (which are either one- or two-handed affairs). Your knowledge of all the specializations and names of the thousands of blade types is nearly encyclopedic, especially with regard to the more obscure types of blades utilized by swordsmen of distant countries. While this knowledge has little practical application, you do enjoy showing it off to your companions.

"The difference between the bokuto, a wooden training sword, and the suburito is actually very small--the suburito is slightly heavier."

"The dao is like a saber -- but the dao lacks a hand guard, which somewhat limits your options in a fight."

"If it's a sword, it has a tip, a blade, a fuller, and a hilt made up of the guard, grip, and pommel."

"A fuller? A fuller is a rounded groove on the flat side of a blade. Although sometimes called 'blood grooves,' their purpose is really to lighten the blade."

"Kukri is actually pronounced khu-khoo-ree."

Practice Makes Perfect: For you, daily exercise is more than something to get your blood running -- you see it as a requirement of your craft. With first light, you're up doing pushups, stomach crunches, running in place, and then the all-important swordplay, whether with a comrade or practicing forms on your own. Afterward, you spend time oiling your equipment against rust and sun, and of course give your blade a little time with the whetstone. You certainly won't go more than a week without your practice, and you prefer a daily regimen.

Self-Taught: Your academy was the street, and your craft is unpolished but well tested. You don't know and don't care for all the "jargon" a few who claim to be warriors spout. You know swords, you know bows -- you know how to use them, who cares what they're called? The information doesn't help you in a fight, and it might get you killed if you worry too much about the cutting edge versus the thrusting tip and the rest of that sort of nonsense.

"I know swords -- that's all I need."

"I knew a fellow who liked to talk fancy, just like you. He's dead now."


You know that the key to winning any fight is not getting hit, so you trade offensive power for a steadier defense.

Level: 6th.

Replaces: If you select this class feature, you do not gain the fighter bonus feat at 6th level.

Benefit: At 6th level, you master a technique of combining offense and defense. As a full-round action, make one attack at your highest base attack bonus. Until the start of your next turn, you gain a +2 dodge bonus to AC. This bonus improves to +4 at 11th level and to +6 at 16th level.


Every offensive move creates an opening for a counterattack, and you know how to exploit this facet of combat to its fullest.

Level: 12th.

Replaces: If you select this class feature, you do not gain the fighter bonus feat at 12th level.

Benefit: At 12th level, you learn to hold back some of your offensive prowess to enable a potent counterattack. As a full-round action, make one melee attack at your highest base attack bonus. At any time before the start of your next turn, you can use an immediate action to make a melee attack (using your highest base attack bonus) against an enemy that attacks you in melee.


You never waste time wounding your opponent, instead concentrating on delivering one solid strike.

Level: 16th.

Replaces: If you select this class feature, you do not gain the fighter bonus feat at 16th level.

Benefit: At 16th level, you can focus your attention in combat to deliver a single deadly attack. As a full-round action, make one attack at your highest base attack bonus. That attack deals double damage, as do any other attacks you make before the start of your next turn.


Package 1: The Archer
Elf Fighter
Ability Scores: Str 15, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8.
Skills: Jump, Spot (cc).
Feats: Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot.
Weapons: Spear (1d8/x3), dagger (1d4/19-20, 10 ft.), longbow with 40 arrows (1d8/x3, 100 ft.).
Armor: Chain shirt (+4 AC).
Other Gear: Standard adventurer's kit, 4 gp.

Package 2: The Defender
Dwarf Fighter
Ability Scores: Str 15, Dex 13, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 6.
Skills: Craft (weaponsmithing), Intimidate.
Feats: Iron Will, Weapon Focus (dwarven waraxe).
Weapon: Dwarven waraxe (1d10/x3), shortbow with 20 arrows (1d6/x3, 60 ft.).
Armor: Scale mail (+4 AC), heavy steel shield (+2 AC).
Other Gear: Standard adventurer's kit, 4 gp.

Package 3: The Destroyer
Human Fighter
Ability Scores: Str 15, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 8.
Skills: Climb, Intimidate, Jump.
Feats: Cleave, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (greatsword).
Weapons: Greatsword (2d6/19-20), shortbow with 20 arrows (1d6/x3, 60 ft.).
Armor: Scale mail (+4 AC).
Other Gear: Standard adventurer's kit, 4 gp.


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