February 03, 2010

Phalanx Revealed!

So, here is the first installment of my new martial controller class. I've actually just come to the really hard part: writing powers. So I am previewing the other parts of the class, thought there may be some later revisions. As you might be able to tell, this class will be somewhat centered around stances. We shall see how that works out!

Role: Controller. Through keenly honed skills along with the masterful use of your body and weapons, you impede your enemies, and allow your allies to gain advantage whenever possible.
Power Source: Martial. You have become a master of the battlefield, the ebb and flow of combat, through hours of practice, sheer determination, and your natural physical prowess.
Key Abilities: Dexterity, Strength, Constitution
Armor Proficiencies: leather, hide, chain, light shields
Weapon Proficiencies: simple melee weapons, military melee weapons
Bonus to Defense: +1 Fort, +1 Ref
Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + Constitution score
Hit Points per Level Gained: 4
Healing Surges per Day: 6 + Constitution modifier
Trained Skills: From the class skills list below, choose four trained skills at 1st level.
Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dex), Athletics (Str), Endurance (Con), History (Int), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Streetwise (Cha)
Builds: Aegis Phalanx, Talon Phalanx
Class Features: Combat Improvisation, Harrier’s Grasp, Intricate Footwork,Phalanx Formation

Phalanxes are melee combatants who use a combination of prescribed stances, formations, and attack combinations to inflict debilitating wounds on their enemies. While less defensive in orientation than a fighter, and less deadly than a ranger, the phalanx is a force to be reckoned with on the battlefield. Whether they are helping a defender protect their allies, or crippling an opponent so that another ally can make that final, fatal blow, Phalanxes are always in the thick of battle.
Regardless of the methods you favor, your motivations may be to enrich yourself, to avenge some past wrong, to escape some dark past, or anything else. You may be a warrior from a long lost civilization using techniques not seen in the world for hundreds of years, a pacifist who loathes combat, but excels at its execution, or even a bloodthirsty killer who enjoys weakening enemies before slaying them.
Ultimately, you can be a force for good or ill, but you are always a powerful influence in battle.

Creating a Phalanx
Phalanxes depend on Dexterity for most of their powers. Strength and Constitution are also useful depending on which Phalanx Formation option you choose. For certain powers, Strength or Constitution will improve any secondary effects. Also, Strength will improve opportunity attacks and Constitution will make the Phalanx more durable while wading through the thick of battle.
Aegis Phalanx
You utilize your control of the combat environment to protect your allies and decrease the enemy’s potential to harm them. You prefer using a one-handed weapon and a light shield, because your powers have a tendency to redirect the focus of your enemies from your allies to yourself. Dexterity should be your highest ability score because it will determine the effectiveness of all your attack powers and provide a bonus to defenses. Constitution should be your secondary ability score because you are likely to be taking more damage than many of your allies, and because it will improve the secondary effects of many of your powers. Choose powers that require a shield to make the most of this build.
Suggested Feat: Martial Alacrity* (Human feat: Human Perseverance)
Suggested Skills: Athletics, Endurance, Heal, Intimidate
Suggested At-Will Powers: hampering strike, scattering sweep
Suggested Encounter Power: readied response
Suggested Daily Power: stance of the wall

Talon Phalanx
You utilize your control of the combat environment to empower your allies and decrease your enemies’ ability to defend themselves. You prefer using a two-handed weapon, especially one with reach, because your powers focus on doing more damage, and because you are not always interested in being directly adjacent to your enemies. Dexterity should be your highest ability score because it will determine the effectiveness of all your attack powers and provide a bonus to defenses. Strength should be your secondary ability score because it will improve the secondary effects of many of your powers. Constitution should be tertiary because you might choose an occasional power that relies upon it and because even though you are not drawing as much fire, you are still in the thick of the battle so more hit points are always useful. Choose powers that benefit from reach or use a two-handed weapon to make the most of this build.
Suggested Feat: Combat Reflexes (Human feat: Action Surge)
Suggested Skills: Acrobatics, Endurance, History, Intimidate
Suggested At-Will Powers: scything strike, quick reverse
Suggested Encounter Power: dancing menace
Suggested Daily Power: stance of the adder

Phalanx Class Features
All phalanxes share these class features.

Combat Improvisation
The phalanx scorns the rigidity of most martial disciplines. Melding together all the aspects of their training, a phalanx can shift quickly between stances or use attacks from one stance while in another. You may use any martial attack power that has the stance keyword without losing an existing stance. You cannot gain the benefits of the stance effect of the power during the same encounter unless you are able to use the power again during the encounter.

Intricate Footwork
The phalanx is adept at moving through the thick of battle to a position of advantage. You gain Defensive Mobility as a bonus feat.

Harrier’s Grasp
Any square adjacent to the phalanx is considered difficult terrain for enemies. If you are using a weapon with the reach property, then the area which is considered difficult terrain becomes a burst 2 centered on the Phalanx.

Phalanx Formation
Choose one of the following two benefits:
Defensive Formation
Every ally which starts their turn adjacent to the Phalanx gains a +1 bonus to AC and Reflex defenses until the start of their next turn.
Aggressive Formation
When an ally attacks an enemy they flank with the Phalanx, that ally gains a +2 bonus to damage rolls.

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