Hoplite

Ability Requirements: 11 Strength, 14 Dexterity, 12 Charisma.
Prime Requisite: Strength.
Secondary Requisite: Dexterity.
Tertiary Requisite: Charisma.
Hit Die: d10 per level until 10th, +3 HP from 11th level on.
Alignment: Any Lawful.
Allowed Races: Amurian (Norse only).
To-hit Progression (BAB): As Warrior.
Experience Progression: XPro Chart 3.
Saving Throws: As Warrior.

While every able bodied child in Nor must serve in their military, not every soldier can hope to become a hoplite. Hoplites are elite legionnaires or the Norian armies. They are heavily armed foot soldiers that are quite literally bred for battle. Trained in the arts of warfare since their childhoods, those who survive to become hoplites are forged into professional warriors which serve as the spearhead of any Norian attack. But hoplites do not mindlessly charge into battle, they are experts in tactics and formation maneuvering. To the last man they are leaders and tacticians. They live by a code of honor and are bound to the men they stand shoulder to shoulder with. Hoplites are no mere soldiers.

Hoplite ranks are restricted to free men who are old enough to have completed their military training. They tend to be people of some monetary means (typically upper middle class as their equipment is expensive) but have had no other trade than soldiering (including acting as guards for merchant ventures, patrolling to insure the security of the city, or simply overseeing their lands when not called upon to fight). Hoplites serve one of the city-states of Nor, both in its armies of conquest and as defenders of the city. They may also as escorts for officials or ambassadors but never serve as mercenaries unless their city has agreed to perform such services for a foreign power or other city-state. They exist to preserve the pride and culture of their city-state.

The benefits of the Hoplite class are as follows:

Use of Weapons: While they may use any weapon allowed by the GM and the time period, a Hoplite is trained in the use of specific weapons. A Hoplite must spend two of his initial weapon-proficiency slots in short sword and long spear. Only after they have become proficient in these two weapons may they seek proficiency in the use of any other weapon.

Use of Armor and Shields: Hoplites are limited in the use of armor. They may only utilize the armor of their profession: piece mail, consisting of; a breastplate, helmet, bracers, greaves, and a medium shield (preferably round or oval and rimmed in bronze). If current money is insufficient for a metal breastplate, they may buy one of a lesser material like leather instead, but must upgrade to a metal breastplate as soon as he can afford it. They may this type of armor and shield without fear of penalties to their movement or abilities.

Weapon Specialization: Unlike basic warriors, a Hoplite’s choice of weapon they may specialize in is limited to their cultural weapons; Long Spear and Short Sword. Weapon Specialization enables the Hoplite to use a particular weapon with exceptional skill, improving his chances to hit and cause damage with that weapon (note: Hoplite characters are not required to specialize in a weapon; the choice is up to the player). In addition to gaining attack and damage bonuses with specialized weapons, a Hoplite using his specialized weapon gains additional attacks per round.

If your Hoplite is going to specialize in a weapon you must simply choose which of the weapons with which to specialize. The Hoplite must first be proficient in the use of the weapon (you must spend 1 weapon proficiency slot) and must then spend another slot (a total of 2) to become specialized. This weapon, once chosen, cannot be changed. At 11th level a Hoplite gains the ability to specialize in a second weapon, but they are only allowed to specialize in the cultural weapon they did not choose last time.

Proficiencies: When being created Hoplites gain; 4 Weapon Proficiencies and 3 Non-weapon Proficiencies. Additionally, they gain 1 Weapon Proficiency every 3 levels and 1 Non-Weapon Proficiency every 4 levels.

Hoplites may take proficiencies from the warrior and general lists with having to pay a penalty for taking cross class abilities. Additionally, they may acquire the proficiencies on the required and recommended lists below without having to pay the penalty. Required (they must take this proficiency when being created): History (Local; Nor). Recommended: (General) Cooking, Direction Sense, Fire-building, Navigating, Seamanship, Swimming, Weather Sense; (Priest) Reading/ Writing, Religion (Holy Orders); (Warrior) Armorer, Blind-fighting, Bowyer/ Fletcher, Endurance, Running, Set Snares, Survival, Tracking, Weaponsmithing.

Weapon Style Proficiency and Specialization: When being created, Hoplites are Proficient in the following basic fighting styles (two handed weapon, weapon and shield, single hand single weapon, thrown missile/sling). Additionally, they may use Weapon and/or Tactics Proficiencies to become proficient in any other style or to specialize in any of the Weapon Styles (though specific training may be needed to gain some of the more obscure styles).

Unarmed Fighting Styles: When being created, all Hoplites 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. There are several specialized unarmed fighting styles that are only available to starting heroes from only certain geographical areas. Hoplites can later become Proficient and Specialize in these styles if they can locate a proper tutor.

Magic Item Use: While Hoplites cannot cast magical spells, they can use many magical items, including potions, protection scrolls, most rings, most miscellaneous items, and enchanted armor, weapons, and shields of the proper types.

Combat Prowess: Due to their extensive combat training, Hoplites gain a +2 bonus to all opposed strength checks involved in making and resisting disarm attempts.

Combat Dominance: From 5th level onward, Hoplites may double their usual number of melee attacks per round when fighting opponents with 1 hit die or less. In order to use this ability the Hoplite must direct all melee attacks in a combat round toward opponents that meet this criterion. The Hoplite can split the available attacks among qualified opponents as desired. This ability may not be used with ranged attacks.

Multiple Attacks: Hoplites 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 (or 3 every 2 rounds with a specialized weapon). At levels 7-12 proficient Hoplites may make 3 attacks every 2 rounds (or 2 attacks every round when specialized). At level 13-18 proficient Hoplites may make 2 attacks per round (or 5 every 2 rounds if specialized). Finally, at level 19 and beyond, they can make 5 attacks every 2 rounds (or 3 attacks per round if specialized).

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).

Level Attacks/Round Level Attacks/Round
1-6 1/round 13-18 2/1 round
7-12 3/2 rounds 19+ 5/2 rounds

Additional Weapon Proficiencies: There are a few proficiencies listed on the Weapon Proficiencies linked page. Hoplites may use their weapon proficiencies to acquire these abilities. Additionally, Hoplites may also use non-weapon proficiencies to acquire these abilities.

Shield Proficiency: Hoplites gain the Shield proficiency as a bonus upon being created. This proficiency has the following benefits: Hoplites are more skilled in the use of a shield than an average shield barer and it is a very important part of their protection. The extra protection conferred by the shield varies by the exact type the character becomes proficient in. The number of attacks is the maximum number of times the listed shield bonus can protect a Hoplite in a single round but even a Hoplite cannot apply this bonus against enemies behind or flanking her.

Shield Type Normal AC Bonus Proficient AC bonus Number of Attacks
Buckler +1 +1 1
Small +1 +2 2
Medium +1 +3 3
Body + 2/+ 3 vs. missiles + 3/+ 4 vs. missiles 4

Phalanx Fighter: Hoplites gain the following additional benefits from training to fight in a formation with similarly trained individuals.

  • In any round a Hoplite may switch from spear to sword with only a 1 segment penalty to initiative. They may gain one additional attack with the sword if initiative allows.
  • They gain a +3 to their AC if there is a formation fighter with a shield on their right.
  • When holding their shield they lend a +3 AC bonus to anyone standing on their left.
  • May not be flanked on any side that another formation fighter is on.
  • May use their shielded AC against 1 additional attack per formation fighter he is flanked by (max +2).
  • With his shield slung on his back a Hoplite can use a +1 to his rear AC for one attack per round.

Honor, Notoriety and Service: Hoplites are easily recognized by their garb in Nor as long as they bear their nation’s and city-state’s emblem on their shield. They are regarded favorably in their homeland. In Nor, people are more friendly, more likely to give them information, and more likely to charge reasonable prices or agree to barter with them so long as they wear “the uniform” which identifies them. Thus they gain a +1 benefit to all reaction rolls while in Nor.

Hoplites that are part of the Norian military may be immune to prosecution for actions taken on behalf of their homeland. On the other hand, they may be subject to disciplinary actions from their superior officers or could even suffer ostracism if their misbehavior warrants it.

Bearing the Norian emblem on their shield may causes them to suffer a -1 penalty to reaction rolls when dealing with or traveling through nations which are not allies (or enemies) of their homeland. In places which are hostile to Nor, the reaction roll penalty becomes a -2. Though they can easily dispense with the shield (and take the AC), Hoplites are proud of their homeland and have a code of honor which makes them hesitant to do so unless the reason is overwhelming.

Their honor is tied in with their homeland and their patron deity Enkath. They must always try to represent the ideals of bravery, willingness to die for their nation, loyalty to their nation and allies, and cunning. They take poorly to insults and insist upon the honor due themselves, their companions, and their nation.

Hoplites are usually under the command of superior officers and must obey them if at all possible. Disobedience to the commands of an officer can never occur just to benefit the Hoplite personally.
They must have a good reason which benefits their city or its army. They are allowed, however, to question orders or discuss reasons why they should not have to obey them when the orders are not given in the heat of battle. If they believe they are right after hearing the arguments of their superior, they may either agree to obey the orders and file a notice of disagreement with the superior’s commander, or they may ask that the matter be settled by an officer of a higher rank than the original order giver.

Followers and Strongholds: A Hoplite never gains followers simply for gaining levels and may never be given formal permission to set up a stronghold. Of course a Hoplite may choose to set up a stronghold at any time but it does not have the favor of the Norian government.

A Hoplite who is active in the Norse military may rise one rank for every three levels above the first they attain (up to tenth; (1st-3rd level: infantry man, 4th-6th level: line captain, 7th-9th level: centurion). At 10th level and above, there is a chance one can be elected general. The chance is 2% for each point of the Hoplite’s Charisma. Every time the Hoplite attains a new level after this, the chance is rerolled, adding 5% for each level over 9th. Example: A character with a Charisma of 12 has a 24% chance of becoming a general upon reaching 10th level. At 11th level, there is a 29% chance; at 12th level, he has a 34% chance, and so on.

A general is given command of a legion of troops and may eventually be charged with defending a specific stronghold.

Hoplite

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