Like the rogue and sorcerer classes, this warrior class is designed around the trichotomy of untrained, trained, and mastered. For warriors, these concepts are applied to weapons, armor, and shields. Similar to the other two classes in this line of development, the warrior uses the high rationalized hit dice progression and hit dice dice as attack bonus.
One improvement option is chosen each time a character gains a level. A character must have training in something before mastery.
This post completes a three-fold division of adventuring types. As discussed previously, the structural difference between the main classes is combat/renewable resource (fighter), combat/consumable resource (magic-user), utility/renewable resource (thief), and utility/consumable resource (magic-user). This scheme implements that structure by making warriors the only class that gets better at using weapons (renewable combat resources), rogues the only class that gets better at using skills (renewable utility resources), and sorcerers the only class that gets better at using spells (consumable combat & utility resources). It is also worth noting that the split is not complete, as all classes increase to some degree in hit dice, which gives sorcerers and rogues some minimal development in renewable combat resources, though much less than the warrior.
As you might suspect, I have thought about how classes might gain cross-class training. For example, how do you handle a sorcerer wishing to gain training in a sword or a warrior wishing to gain training in a spell? The approach I favor is simple, but must wait for a future post.
- Four weapons from any weapons list.
- Light armor, heavy armor, and shields.
Improvement options: weapon training, weapon mastery, heavy armor mastery, shield mastery.
- Simple: dagger, staff, spear, club
- Light: short sword, bow, sling
- Heavy: long sword, mace, axe, pole-arm, longbow, 2H sword
Attack rolls are penalized by four with untrained weapons.
Attack rolls are not penalized when wielding trained weapons. Training also often unlocks weapon-specific options (for example, daggers may only be thrown by characters with dagger training).
Mastered weapons deal an extra point of damage. Mastery also optionally allows special weapon properties to be used (such as the long bow’s volley attack).
Are considered as trained for all characters, have a further bonus against armored targets, require a round to reload, may not be mastered, and are controlled munitions (any character not in a lord’s uniform carrying one will have it confiscated at the very least, and likely expelled from town or thrown into prison).
Armor & Shields
- Light armor: leather (AC +2)
- Heavy armor: chain (AC +4), plate (AC +6)
Wearing armor imposes two kinds of penalties on characters, a general physical penalty and a skill penalty. The general physical penalty applies to attack rolls, physical saving throws, and physical ability checks. This penalty depends on armor type (leather = -1, chain = -2, plate = -3), and is cumulative with any penalty from encumbrance.
Skills that require general agility (climb, stealth, and steal) are penalized by 1 if wearing chain armor and 2 if wearing plate armor. Skills are not penalized by leather armor.
There are two kinds of armor training, light and heavy. Light armor training applies to leather and similar armors, while heavy armor training applies to chain and plate armors. Having training in armor removes the physical penalty but does not remove the skill penalty. A character must be trained in light armor before being trained in heavy armor.
Heavy Armor Mastery
Characters with heavy armor mastery gain +1 AC when using exceptional armor, and decreases the skill penalty by 1. Exceptional heavy armor must be purchased at great expense (exact cost should vary based on available materials and labor, but ten times normal cost would be a reasonable baseline). Further, rare materials may be required for the crafting.
No benefit is gained from mastering light armor.
Untrained Shield Use
Untrained shield users gain +1 AC, but only when they focus on using the shield to the exclusion of all else.
Characters with shield training gain +1 AC when using a shield in combat.
Characters with shield mastery gain +2 AC when using a shield in combat.