Heroes of Godsrage
Ability Requirements: 17 Strength, 13 Dexterity, 15 Constitution, 16 Charisma (Max Wisdom – 16).
Prime Requisite: None.
Secondary Requisite: None.
Tertiary Requisite: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Charisma.
Hit Die: d12 per level until 10th, +4 HP from 11th level on.
Alignment: Any Chaotic.
Allowed Races: Human (Bifrostian only).
To-hit Progression (BAB): As Warrior.
Experience Progression: XPro Chart 8.
Saving Throws: As Warrior.
The berserker character class is unique to the human peoples of Bifrost. Most of them hale from the glacier covered mountains of that nation’s south. As such, they are adept at the many skills necessary for survival in a hostile wilderness. Berserkers are fearsome warriors. In the heat of battle they tap powerful but dangerously unpredictable battle lusts. Because of these passions, many people liken them unto wild animals, and indeed the most powerful berserkers can actually transform into savage beasts. It is this ability that inspires supernatural dread of them, even among the common folk of their homeland.
The abilities of berserkers are beyond normal explanation. Old Bifrostian sagas are loaded with mysterious references of the origins of the first berserkers. Whatever their true beginnings, they are powerful and fearless. While they are often loyal, trustworthy, and noble, berserkers have a wild and willful nature that leaves them always unpredictable.
As beings who live their lives in the wilds of the harshest inhabited place on Cyrus, berserkers are tied to their homeland, and have many abilities which are only usable to their fullest potential there. But, many berserkers travel the world and some of these skills can be applied to a new locale with differing flora, fauna, and climate, once the berserker has spent a considerable amount of time exposed to the wilds of the new area. Berserkers are tough and hardy and prefer wild places to the bustle of cities. Whatever hardships they face, berserkers recover quickly and are unyielding in the pursuit of their passions.
The benefits of the Berserker class are as follows:
Multi and Dual Classing: A player character Berserker can never gain a second class, nor can a member of another class ever become a berserker.
Constitution Bonus Hit Points: As opposed to the normal Bonus Hit Point Progression on the Ability Scores page, berserkers gain + 2 hit points per point of constitution over 14; at every level.
Languages: When being created, Berserkers may only know how to speak their native language: Volstodg and do not automatically gain the ability to read this language. To do so they must assign one of their initial non-weapon proficiencies on a Language; Read/Write (Volstodg) if they desire this skill. A berserker can learn languages as it rises in levels according to his intelligence’s Number of Languages stat just as any other character can.
Use of Armor and Shields: A berserker can use any armor or shield allowable to in the setting and time period but, the use of any armor heavier than spiked leather will reduce or negate the following abilities of the berserker: AC Bonus, Climb Trees and Cliffs, Back Protection, Leaping and Springing, Wild Running, Hide in Natural Surroundings, Surprise, and the Barbarian Horde.
AC Bonus: Berserkers gain a + 1 bonus to their armor class for every point of Dexterity over 14 if they are in Spiked Leather or lighter armor. If they are wearing armor more weighty than spiked leather but not double its weight they gain a + 1 bonus to their armor class for every two points of Dexterity over 14. If the armor is double or more of the weight: this bonus is negated completely. NOTE: this bonus is in addition to the Defensive Adjustment already given for high Dexterity.
Use of Weapons, Proficiency and Specialization: Berserkers begin play with only 3 initial Weapon Proficiencies rather than the 4 normal for fighting classes. After their creation, weapon proficiencies are gained at the normal frequency. Berserkers must become proficient in Broad Sword at first level (as this is their nation’s heritage sword). They must also spend their remaining initial weapon proficiencies on any of the following weapons: Hand/Throwing Axe, Battle Axe, Knife, Short Sword, or Spear. Any additional weapon proficiencies they gain while leveling can be spent on any weapon they see fit. Only the initial allotment of three must be spent in this way.
Berserkers cannot become proficient in weapons that are purely missile weapons. They can become proficient in spear since it has a dual role (both melee and missile), but cannot become proficient in any bow or the sling. It is not in their savage natures to fight at a distance. Berserkers may never become weapon specialists.
Weapon Style Proficiency and Specialization: When being created, berserkers are proficient in the following basic Weapon Styles (two handed weapon, single hand-single weapon, two weapon, and thrown missile) and are specialized in Weapon and Shield style. Berserkers may not use Weapon Proficiencies to specialize in any other weapon styles nor may they become proficient in any other style.
Unarmed Fighting Styles: When being created, Berserkers are Proficient in the basic unarmed fighting styles: Boxing and Wrestling. They are allowed to use their Weapon Proficiencies to specialize in Unarmed Fighting Styles. Berserkers cannot become proficient in any other unarmed fighting style.
Multiple Attacks: Berserkers gain the ability to make additional attacks per round. At levels 1-6 they are limited to making 1 attack each round with weapons they are proficient in. At levels 7-12 proficient rangers may make 3 attacks every 2 rounds. At level 13-18 basic rangers may make 2 attacks per round. Finally, at level 19 and beyond, they can make 5 attacks every 2 rounds. A partial additional attack (e.g. 3/2 attacks) means that an extra attack is taken on even-numbered rounds in the combat sequence (i.e. one attack on the first round, two on the second, one on the third, two on the fourth and so on).
|7-12||3/2 rounds||19+||5/2 rounds|
Saving Throw Bonus: Because they live lives are hardship in the frozen wastes of Bifrost, Berserkers have the following bonuses to their saving throws: + 4 versus Paralyzation/Poison/Death Magic, +3 vs. Petrification/Polymorph, + 2 versus Rod/Staff/Wand, and +1 vs. Breath Weapon. Berserkers gain no special benefit to their saving throw versus any spell and thus the above bonuses do not apply to saving throws vs. spells but do apply to save vs. spell-like abilities and magic items.
Non-weapon Proficiencies: Berserkers follow the fighter progression for starting and gaining Non-weapon Proficiencies. They have access to the general, fighter and faith lists. They may take proficiencies off of the rouge list but mast pay a 1 slot penalty for every NWP they choose to take in this way. Berserkers may never acquire proficiencies listed only on the Mage proficiency list.
Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: While being created Berserkers gain the following Proficiencies as a bonus: Survival (see Native Territory/Attuned Abilities below) and Tracking (their ability with these proficiencies is on par with the ranger’s). Furthermore, their skill with Tracking improves as they rise in level. Every third level the ranger gains another free non-weapon which is placed in Tracking; giving her a + 1 modifier to her tracking skill (+ 1 at 3rd level, another + 1 at 6th, another at 9th, etc.).
- : . A Berserker can successfully track any creature that leaves a discernible trace, and determine characteristics about the creature as well. With a successful track check, a Berserker can find and follow a creature’s tracks or trail for 6 hours. The ranger can also hide tracks at the same level of ability. The GM may apply bonuses or penalties for varying conditions, such as the length of time elapsed since the tracks were made, weather conditions, the number of creatures tracked, and whether the tracked creature moved through water or a secret door.
- A successful track check may impart information about the creature(s) being tracked. Once a trail is found, a track check can determine the general number and type of creatures being tracked. The number of creatures tracked should be disclosed to the player by using one of the following categories: individuals (1-6), band (7- 20), troop (21-100), or army (101+), and one of the following categories: beast, demihuman, fey, giant, humanoid, plant, vermin, or other (aberration, animated creature, dragon, elemental, magical beast, ooze, extraplanar creature, shapechanger, or undead). For many creatures the Berserker cannot identify its exact type, only that it is a creature of such nature. A Berserker can identify specific animal tracks with no effort.
- At 3rd level, a Berserker can ascertain distinguishing characteristics about the creatures tracked, such as whether they are wounded, exhausted, carrying heavy objects, or wearing certain armor. The Berserker might even be able to determine if a spellcaster is in the group being tracked. The marks or characteristics determined are limited only by the GM’s imagination and desire to provide or enhance story elements during game play.
- At 6th level, a Berserker can identify the specific type of creature(s) being tracked if belonging to one of the following categories and with which the ranger has had some interaction: beast, demihuman, fey, giant, humanoid, plant, or vermin.
Use of Magical Items: Berserkers in general detest magic and those who use it. Any Wizard or Sorcerer will be shunned initially, and the Berserker will refuse to benefit for any of their spells. While the berserker may come to like a particular wizard or sorcerer, they will always be viewed with suspicion. Priests of the Holy Order of Enkath or Chronis, and Ruin Casters who cast beneficial faith spells are not viewed in such a way, though high level faith spells might still be suspect, as are any spells which seem to help undead. At low levels berserkers will refuse to employ any sort of magic item if they recognize it as such (thus they do not gain a starting magic item as per the Character Creation rules. They will often seek to destroy magic items, and if successful they receive an experience-point award as if they had created the item. As they adventure through the world outside of Bifrost they will be able to overcome some of these superstitions, but they never lose them entirely. Superstitions lift in the following order:
|Level||Actions and Abilities|
|2||May associate freely with other Priests and Shaman|
|3||May use magic potions|
|5||May use magic weapons|
|7||May use magic armor|
|9||May use weapon-like miscellaneous magic items|
|10||May associate with Wizards and Sorcerers|
|11||May use protection scrolls|
|14||May use any magic items available to fighters|
Climb Cliffs and Trees: A berserker has the ability to climb trees and natural cliffs (or ledges, mountains, etc.) similar to the thief ability Climb Walls. This ability suffers a -50% penalty when it is used to scale constructed walls. The percentage chance at level is represented in the table at the bottom of this page. These percentages are modified for Dexterity and armor worn using the tables on the Thief page. Use of armor of greater weight than spiked leather negates this ability.
Back Protection: Berserkers have a chance to detect any attempted Sneak Attack against them made from behind (typical of the attacks from rouge classes). The chance is equal to their level or less on a d20 (1 on a d20 at 1st level, 1 or 2 at 2nd, etc.). If the check is successful, the berserker detects the sneak attack and the bonuses to the attack are lost. The former sneak attack is still made and is treated as a normal attack. The berserker is also then entitled to an attack of opportunity against the former “sneak attacker,” even if he has already used all of his attack in that round. If the check is unsuccessful, the attack goes off as normal and the berserker gains no attack of opportunity. Use of armor of greater weight than spiked leather negates this ability.
Leaping and springing: Berserkers are able to leap up to a maximum distance of 10 feet forward, 3 feet backward, or 3 feet upward from a standing start. If the berserker is able to move freely and get a running start, the forward leap can range from 16-21 feet (15+1d6), and the upward leap from 4 to 6 feet (4+1d2). Springing under similar conditions gives an upward distance of 4-7 feet (4+1d3), depending on the surface used as a step to gain height and spring. Use of armor of greater weight than spiked leather negates this ability.
Detect illusion: Berserkers may determine that some sight, sound or other sensory phenomenon is actually an illusion or phantasm. The chance is a number (or less) equal to their level on a d20. Attempting to detect illusions takes a full minute of concentration on the illusion. Regardless of level the berserker’s chance to detect such spells may never exceed 1 through 15 on a d20.
Detect magic: Berserkers have a chance of detecting any sort of magic other than the illusion/phantasm variety. This again takes one minute of concentration, and applies to items or spells, but not to persons or beasts able to effect magic. The chance is equal to 5 + 1 per level beyond 1st (6 at 2nd level, 7 at 3rd, 10 at 6th, etc.). However, this chance may never exceed 18 or less on 1d20 regardless of the berserker’s level. This ability only reveals that magic is present and the berserker gains no insight as to the type of magic or the abilities or effects it may infer.
Long Distance Signaling: The berserker is capable of using signaling methods of his native land (including such things as drums, smoke, or mirror flashes) to communicate over long distances. Of course these signals can only be read by another character with this ability.
Wild Running: Berserkers can move at a jog (twice their base movement rate) for no less than three full days before having to “rest” by spending a day walking (their base movement rate). They double their Constitution score for the purposes of checking for endurance under these circumstances. Use of armor of greater weight than spiked leather negates this ability.
Smallcraft, Rowed: This skill is checked against the berserker’s Wisdom, and includes the building of wooden boats and the rowing and/or sailing of these boats.
Snare Building: By succeeding in a Wisdom check a Berserker can construct natural traps (deadfalls, pits, and other traps) for large and even very large animals and like creatures.
Native Territory/Attuned Abilities: Berserkers have several abilities that apply to their native territory in Bifrost: Sub-arctic Mountains. The abilities: First Aid, Hide in Natural Surroundings, Leadership, Outdoor Craft, Sound Imitation, Surprise, and Survival; are most useful in their native territory but berserkers may be able to utilize some of them outside of their homeland, though not to their fullest potential. With the exception of the leadership skill (which is completely useless outside of Bifrost), all of these abilities may be attuned to a new locale with differing flora, fauna, and climate. While some of these abilities will still be of limited use while operating in areas to which the berserker is not attuned, some will be completely useless.
It takes one full month (28 consecutive days) of continual exposure to the area to attune any ability. At the end of this month the ability is now attuned to the new terrain type and the berserker no longer suffers a penalty while utilizing it there. A berserker can continue to attune to new areas as it travels during the course of its adventures but each change comes at the cost of her attunement to the previous terrain type. In all cases the one month exposure period holds true with the exception of returning to its native territory. Upon returning to native territory a Berserker need only spend one full day in the wild to regain its native attunement. Regardless of how much time is spent in any other terrain type, it can never become her native territory.
- First aid: . Even without the healing proficiency, berserkers can bind wounds (stabilize any person on Death’s Doorstep) and set sprains and broken bones. He can even use these abilities on himself. Such “first aid” restores the patient to 1 hit point immediately, and then increases hit-point recovery by 100% if the Berserker continues to administer aid and cures. In an attuned terrain the berserker can also concoct natural antidotes and cures for natural diseases and poisons. When dealing with natural poison and illness in an un-attuned terrain type the chance of correctly affecting a cure is; a number equal to one quarter the victim’s Constitution Score (rounded down), or less on a d20. While in his attuned terrain, the chance of success is; 10 plus a number equal to one quarter of the victim’s Constitution score (rounded down), or less on a d20. Note: a roll of 20 is always a failure and a roll of 1 always succeeds.
- Hide in Natural Surroundings: . Berserkers have the ability to hide in natural surroundings like a thief hides in shadows. When within terrain to which he is attuned, a berserker has the percentage chance for his level represented in the table at the bottom of the page. In unfamiliar terrain the berserker has the ability of a character three levels lower than himself. Thus a berserker of third level or less has no chance of hiding in unfamiliar terrain. All of these percentages are modified for Dexterity and armor worn using the tables on the Thief page but a berserker can never wear elven chain mail. Use of armor of greater weight than spiked leather negates this ability.
Leadership: . When dealing with Bifrostian humans or other berserkers, she adds her level of experience to her Charisma score to gauge her effective Charisma.
Outdoor Craft: . Berserkers can identify the local plants and animals with perfect accuracy. Outdoor Craft also confers the abilities of the Direction Sense and Weather Sense Proficiencies. While the Direction Sense ability is still useful in an un-attuned area, the other abilities are completely useless.
- Sound Imitation: . Berserkers can mimic various sounds, including bird or animal calls, either for the purpose of luring those creatures or for signaling. To use this ability successfully the berserker must make a Charisma check. Even if the check fails the berserker has still made the noise but creatures of animal intelligence are not fooled by the imitation and the noise may be detected as a signal by intelligent beings. If the check succeeds the sound is flawless and has the desired result without any consequences. In un-attuned terrain this ability will still work but the berserker suffer a -6 penalty to the chance. Also, the sound made is alien to the terrain and thus creatures of animal intelligence or lower will never be fooled by it even if the attempt is successful.
- Surprise: . This ability is useless until it is attuned. A hidden berserker gains a bonus of -5 on their attempts to surprise opponents. Their opponents suffer a penalty of + 5 when attempting to surprise the berserker. Use of armor of greater weight than spiked leather negates this ability.
- : . In wilderness environments, a berserker can provide shelter, decent food, and water for themselves several people, all without the need for an ability check. The berserker can both forage and hunt. She must spend 1d4 hours hunting and gathering to produce enough food and water to feed 2d4 people for 1 day. If the berserker wishes to feed or shelter a larger group of people, he must spend an additional 1d4 hours gathering food and succeed at a survival check. This additional effort allows her to gather food and water for 2d4 more creatures. Berserkers can only hunt and forage for food 12 hours per day, limiting the number of people that can be fed. In addition to the ability to provide food and shelter in the wilds, she can also automatically determine where true north lies in relation to the character in normal wilderness environments. In un-attuned terrain, the berserker must spend 2d4 hours to produce enough food for 1d4 people and any further time spent in this activity requires a check with a -6 penalty.
Warp Frenzy: Berserkers have been touched by Enkath’s warp. This occurrence gives them the ability to enter a frenzied state which makes him savage and unpredictable (he literally goes berserk). This state also increases their effectiveness in battle. Though a berserker may use this ability at any time, it is not automatic. He must first spend one round working himself into the frenzy (during which he can take no other action). At the end of that round he may attempt to touch the warp by making a saving throw vs. death magic. If the save is successful he becomes frenzied. If it fails he has not. A berserker can continue to make attempts for up to ten consecutive rounds. At the end of the tenth round, success is automatic. The frenzied state confers the following benefits, limitations and consequences:
- Berserk Strength: The berserker’s Strength increases by 2 points to a maximum of 19. Note: Strength over 18: percentile Strength increases by one category for every extra point, thus only character’s with an 18 (91) or greater Strength can attain 19. The character gains all bonuses (BAB, damage, weight allowance, etc.) of the increased Strength.
- Bonus Hit Points: The berserker instantly gains two additional hit points for every berserker level. The hit points gained do not heal existing wounds; they are simply added to the character’s current total. These additional hit points can cause his HP total to exceed his normal maximum. Damage suffered while frenzied is taken from the temporary hit points first and only after those hit points are lost does the character suffer actual wounds.
- Charm Resistance: The berserker gains a +2 to all saving throws vs. charm based spells and abilities, and any other mental- based attack.
- Exhaustion: Because entering the warp is a voluntary action; a berserker can choose to emerge from it at any time (he can purposefully fail to enter combat or retreat from battle). However a berserker can only remain frenzied for a number of rounds equal to his Constitution and if he has not voluntarily ended the rage before this time, it ceases instantly. Unfortunately warp frenzy is physically draining. As soon as the berserker emerges from the warp he loses all powers granted by that state (Berserk Strength, Bonus Hit Points, Toughness, Charm Resistance and the ability to Strike Magical Creatures) and must make another saving throw vs. death. If the saving throw succeeds he is unaffected by the warp but should it fail, he becomes immediately drained and exhausted. Not only does his Strength return to normal but it is further reduced by 5 (-5 from its normal non-frenzied Strength score) and remains reduced until he has rested. Strength recovers at the rate of 1 point per turn (10 minutes) of rest. He cannot even attempt to enter the warp again until his Strength has returned to its normal level.
- Retreat: Once a berserker has entered the warp frenzy he cannot retreat from combat without shattering the delicate psychological balance which generates this state. If the berserk character withdraws from combat, routs, or is forced to retreat, the berserk fury immediately ends and he must check for Exhaustion.
- Single-Mindedness: Once a berserker enters the warp he must enter melee combat with the enemy. Though the berserker attack whom or whatever he chooses if he is not already engaged in combat, he cannot hang back from battle for more than 2 rounds. If he does not enter battle before the time has elapsed the frenzy subsides immediately (and must check for exhaustion). Once he is in combat, a frenzied berserker cannot change opponents until the current foe is either slain or flees and cannot be pursued. Note: this restriction on changing opponents applies only after the berserker has actually entered into combat. The berserker cannot voluntarily change opponents to break his frenzy.
- Strike Magical Creatures: Once a berserker reaches 6th level he may harm magical creatures with non-magical weapons. In the hands of such a berserker, any weapon (even his own bare hands) is considered a magical +1 weapon. This ability does not confer a bonus to hit or damage. It only allows the berserker to strike creatures that are only hit by +1 weapons. The ability gets stronger as the berserkers raises in level. At 9th level he may strike creatures that are only hit by +2 weapons. At 12th level he may strike creatures that are only hit by +3 weapons. At 15th level he may strike creatures that are only hit by +4 weapons. At 18th level he may strike creatures that are only hit by +5 weapons.
- Toughness: The berserker’s Armor Class bonus improves by +1 for every berserker level, to a maximum of +10. This adjustment is to the character’s normal unarmored rating. This armor class adjustment can be combined with modifications for Dexterity, magical items, spells, and shields but cannot be applied if the berserker is wearing any type of armor. In this case, the armor’s AC bonus is used and not that granted by berserker rage. Note: A berserker is not prevented from wearing armor when berserk, but wearing armor negates this benefit.
4th Level: Skin Walking (Wolf): Upon attaining 4th level a berserker gains the ability to shape change into a wolf (once a week). During the shift his hit points, THACO, number of attacks, and saving throws remain unchanged. However, the berserker gains the movement, armor class, and damage of a wolf (MV 18, AC 13, Damage 2-5). He receives no bonuses for Strength and cannot go berserk while in wolf form. He can still understand all languages he knows, but cannot communicate back without magical means. Additionally he can understand and speak the language of wolves while skin walking (this knowledge is lost upon transforming back). Skin Walking is not lycanthropy; it is a power bestowed upon him by Enkath. His bite has no special power, he does not heal damage when changing form, the moon has no effect on him and he is vulnerable to normal weapons. The transformation is quick taking only one round to complete (his clothes are gear are not transformed with him).
7th Level: Skin Walking (Bear): Upon attaining 7th level a berserker gains the ability to shape change into a cave bear (once a week). During the shift his hit points, THACO, number of attacks, and saving throws remain unchanged. However, the berserker gains the movement, armor class, and damage of a wolf (MV 12, AC 14, #Attacks; 3 [claw, claw, bite] Damage: d6, d6, d8). If either paw hits with a roll of 18 or better, the berserker can hug for an additional 2d12 points of damage. None of these attacks receive any bonuses for Strength. He can still understand all languages he knows, but cannot communicate back without magical means. Additionally he can understand and speak the language of bears while skin walking (this knowledge is lost upon transforming back). Skin Walking is not lycanthropy; it is a power bestowed upon him by Enkath. His bite has no special power, he does not heal damage when changing form, the moon has no effect on him and he is vulnerable to normal weapons. The transformation is quick taking only one round to complete (his clothes are gear are not transformed with him). Note: berserkers can enter warp frenzy while in bear form but all of the rules for skin walking still apply. Also, a frenzied berserker in bear form is feral and cannot willingly end his frenzy. He will continue to attack the closest target (friend or foe) until a number of combat rounds equal to his constitution elapses. If he becomes Exhausted after his frenzy, he reverts to human form.
8th Level: The Barbarian Horde: Upon reaching 8th level, a berserker may summon a barbarian horde. This horde can only be summoned in Bifrost, from among the people of Bifrost. A barbarian horde can number as many members as its leader’s experience-point total divided by 1000. Thus, a berserker who has just reached 8th level can gather a 275-member horde, and one who has just reached 9th level can have a 500-member horde. Use of armor of greater weight than spiked leather negates this ability.
The horde takes a week to gather in Bifrost and must have a stated purpose, such as “Tear apart the College of Magic in Arcana City brick by brick” or “Rescue Princess Madelyn from the Storm Pirates” or “Serve under Goodbar the Cleric in his battle against the infidels.” Deviating from the proclaimed purpose by the horde or its leader will cause the horde to lose focus and disband. Members of disbanded hordes will return to their homes by the quickest and safest route.
A barbarian horde can only be kept together for as many weeks as the berserker leader has levels of experience. At the end of this time, the horde is usually disbanded. Exceptions may be made if large amounts of treasure are distributed to the members, if the leader has an effective charisma of 23 or more with respect to Bifrostian fighters, if the leader of the horde is a tribal leader as well, or if an unattained goal is in easy reach. Each of these special circumstances which apply would extend the duration of the horde by 1-2 weeks at most. A tribal leader who has his horde disband beneath him will not receive a warm welcome the next time he returns to his homeland.
In addition to the normal fighters and berserkers in the horde, the berserker gains two aides, each of a level equal to one-half of the leader’s level (rounded down). Each aide will have two assistants of one half the aide’s level. An 8th-level berserker would therefore have a horde of 275 men plus two 4th-level aides and four 2nd-level assistants to those aides. The horde may include Adherent shaman, Ruin Casters, or Holy Orders priests, but not all three. Shaman and Ruin Casters gain wisdom bonuses and may use magic items of any sort as applicable. Any faith caster will have full spell capability and will always be NPCs.
9th Level: Followers: Berserkers attract followers upon attaining 9th level. Those willing to serve the berserker are few, but noteworthy. The berserker will attract ld4 +1 such followers, who are fanatically loyal and willing to stand by him even to the death.
|Berserker Level||Climb %||Hide %|