Stalwart

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Standing over a pile of fallen orcs, a tall human woman stands with a tower shield and greatsword. She wields the greatsword one-handed, and her tower shield is beaten up but still very impenetrable. The orcs, wielding greataxes and longswords, were unprepared for an incredible defense. One did manage to impale her stomach, but she shrugged it off as if it were merely a mosquito bite.

A group of adventurers, one wielding a large kite shield, look up to a red dragon. Though young, it’s still very dangerous. It breathes a roaring fire and douses the adventurers in the fire. When the fire and smoke clear, the shield is covering the line of adventurers, their bodies singed but unharmed.

An elf, bare-handed, stands before a group of goblins, all wielding shortbows. They fired at him all at once, and before the arrows hit, a large, black, nearly shadow-like wall juts up from the ground, snapping all the oncoming arrows. The elf does no more but blink at it, then swings his hand at them, and the goblins fly back into the shrubbery, trees, and whatever else was behind them, some cracking their skulls open, others just dazed.

A stalwart is a nigh-impervious defender, with a high physical tenacity and pain tolerance. Some stalwarts can also take up a magical approach, albeit not being able to attack with magic like a true spellcaster type.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: d12 per level
Hit Points at 1st level: 12 + Constitution mod
Hit Points at Higher levels: 1d12 + Constitution mod per level above 1st.

Proficiencies

Armor: Medium, Heavy, Shields
Weapons: Martial Weapons
Tools: None
Saving Throws: Strength, Constitution
Skills: Athletics and choose two: Arcana, Insight, Perception, Sleight of Hand

Equipment

  • Choose: a longsword; or greatsword
  • Choose: a chainmail; or breastplate
  • Choose: a tower shield (Description here); or nothing
  • Choose: an explorer's pack; or dungeoneer's pack

Quick Build

There are two ways to play this class: be a brute with physicality, or more dextrous with magic. Either way, Constitution should be your second highest, preceded by Strength for physical, or Wisdom or Charisma for magical, depending on which type. For Magical, Having a Dexterity of 14 specifically is optimal for the breastplate.

Stalwart Table

Lvl Proficiency Bonus Features SlamDowns
1st +2 Stalwart Defense Training -
2nd +2 -
3rd +2 Slam Down, SDT Feature 1
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 2
5th +3 SDT Feature 2
6th +3 3
7th +3 3
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 3
9th +4 SDT Feature 4
10th +4 4
11th +4 4
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 4
13th +5 SDT Feature 5
14th +5 5
15th +5 5
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 5
17th +6 SDT Feature 5
18th +6 6
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 10
20th +6 SDT Feature Unlimited

Stalwart Defense Training

Starting your character, you make a choice between two subtypes: Great Defense Training, GDT, or Magic Defense Training, MDT.

-GDT is all about physical strength, and plenty of it, as you must lift a big tower shield and a somewhat heavy sword, which can become a greatsword later on. Your high strength allows for great feats of such, allowing you to gain advantage on a Strength roll. This effect can only be applied to a number of times equal to your Strength modifier before you must take a long rest.

-MDT is just as if not more effective at defending than GDT, at the cost of having far less strength, making you less viable in an offensive situation. As a tradeoff, though, good reaction times and a strong will are essential.

To be able to use MDT, you must have a Wisdom or Charisma score of 13 or higher. The score with the higher modifier is your spellcasting modifier. If they are equal, then you make a choice on it.

Magical Defense Training

As a Magic Defense Trainee, you can project a shield at will. The shield's material is akin to the earth in the ground, somewhat crumbly in nature, though it is spawned out from the arcane energy condensed into material form. It is matte black by default, though the color is changeable. The material if hit with enough kinetic force will harden to become tougher then Adamantine,1 though most encounters it will only be as tough as the caster commands it to be, from steel to a gelatinous blob.2

The energy to form the material is unlimited in amount, though stored in the magical plane. Someone taken in by MDT can only manipulate so much at a time before the inherent resistance of the energy prevents them from grabbing any more.3 Starting off as this kind of Stalwart allows you to freely manipulate an amount of material equal to half of your spellcasting modifier, rounded up, multiplied by five (Minimum of 5x5 ft, or 1 square on a normal battle map). This doesn't always have to be 5' thick, as only 1 foot of thickness can stop a light crossbow bolt or a torrent of flame.

Slam Down

You quickly learn a shield can be used as a very offensive tool as well as defensive.

-Stalwarts with GDT can use their actual shield to shove away a group of creatures surrounding them and possibly their group. Any creature in a 5' long, 15' wide area must make a Strength saving throw with a DC equal to your Strength score minus your modifier (e.x., a score of 20 (+5) would be DC 15 b/c 20-5=15) or be knocked prone. Regardless of this, unless they throw a natural 20, they will be shoved back up to 15 feet in the direction of your shove.

-Stalwarts with MDT can do the same, but it is in any direction except upwards or downwards and within a range of 30 feet. Instead of a fixed range like GDT, the AoE for who gets shoved depends on the shape you manipulate it to be. There needs to be a minimum of 5' of material to effectively shove a creature. The formula for the DC is the same but with your spellcasting ability score and its modifier.

For both types, any creature that is a size larger than you has advantage on their saving throw, and can only be shoved back a max of 5 feet.

Features

3rd Level - Defensive Stance

-All Stalwarts learn the Defender fighting style.

5th Level - Quick Reactions

-Your reaction time is heightened nominally. For as many times as you have slamdowns, any enemy that has advantage attacking you loses that advantage, and they get disadvantage on the attack roll if they make an opportunity attack against you. This does not reduce the amount of Slamdowns you have.

9th Level

-GDT gains Great Strength, which allows them to wield, in one-hand, any weapon with the two-handed property, whenever they wield a shield in their other hand. If the weapon also has the Reach property, it loses it while being utilized in this manner.

-MDT gains Weapon Saboteur, which allows you to disarm an enemy of weaponry or even break it. Once per round, you can send out a swath of your shield material at someone and make an attempt to either disarm or break it. Make an attack roll against their Sleight of Hand (Dexterity) roll. The weapon falls to the ground 5 feet away from them if they were disarmed, or their weapon is now akin to a club, provided they decide to keep it in their hand.

13th Level - Barreling Charge

-GDT Stalwarts further increase their shield's utility by charging forward through a crowd. Doing so has a chance to knock them prone, and will attract attention to you. An enemy must make a Dexterity saving throw when you charge or be knocked prone. They will be pushed 5 feet to the immediate left or right of your direction, at the DM's discretion. This also moves you as far as double your walking speed. To use this again in the same encounter, you must spend a round using zero movement. This can only be used 5 times before you must finish a short or long rest.

You can also choose a target to specifically pin with your shield. If they fail the Dexterity saving throw, they will be knocked prone up to 20' directly away from you, taking 1d8 + Strength modifier in damage.

-MDT Stalwarts blast their material forward 30'. The material flies as fast as a crossbow bolt would, but spread out along a wall shape that can be as far as 25' long, 15' high, and 2.5' thick. Any creature that is in the range must make an Athletics (Strength) check or be knocked prone along with being knocked back up to 20' backward. You can only use this effect 5 times before you must finish a short or long rest.

17th Level - Grappler

-GDT use their enemy's inability to break through their defense to their advantage. If a creature is within double your movement speed in distance from you, you can take the Dash action as a bonus action if you Grapple them. The rolls for grappling apply, except you gain advantage doing this. Alternatively, if someone fails an attack roll on you, you can use your reaction to grapple them with advantage. This can only be used 3 times before you must take a long rest.

-MDT can bind an enemy with their material, similar to Hold Person, though any attacker runs the risk of breaking it. The target must succeed on an Athletics (Strength) check or Acrobatics (Dexterity) check or be bound. Normal grapple rules apply, only it is against your spellcasting score throw and not Strength. You can optionally choose to crush them, dealing 1d8 damage per round until you stop or they break free. You can only have one grabbed at a time, and grappling someone requires a 5x5x5 foot cube of material to fully restrain. This counts as a concentration 'spell', and concentration rules apply. This can only be done as many times equal to your spellcasting modifier per long rest.

20th Level - Executing Slam

-Stalwarts, once they reach the pinnacle of their form, learn that crushing someone's face in is the best way to kill them.

-GDT can target someone who is prone, and keep them prone. This is similar to a Grapple, and those rules apply. If successful, they will make an attack roll. On a success, they will shield bash an enemy with the edge of their shield, dealing 4d6 bludgeoning damage. If they want to attack again, they must succeed on another grapple check next round. The round after, if they are still keeping the creature prone they can attack again. This ability can only be used once per encounter.

-MDT can use their material to crush a target or small group of targets. You make a 10' by 10' square immediately above the target or targets. Each target must pass an Acrobatics (Dexterity) roll or be crushed between the block and the ground, taking 2d10 damage and being knocked prone. This ability can only be used once per encounter.


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