Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Buffalo Soldiers

Given that my campaign world is a fantasy Earth, I often riff on real-world religions and concepts. One world religion the "Jahans" is a tongue-in-cheek fantasy take on Rastafari, or, more specifically, Rastafari if your only exposure to it was the songs of Bob Marley. Their god is Razh Jah, simultaneously a play on the song "Jah Live" and other intentional religious reference in Marley's music and also the sanscrit "Raja" (because the deity is also an earthly monarch).

In keeping with the Marley theme, I made up this prestige class -- a cleric/cavalier mix with some awesome bison-centric powers, from the obvious inspiration, and some very literal reading...

Buffalo Soldier

Buffalo Soldiers are members of the personal guard and army of Razh Jah, the king of Pulau-Razh and the god of the Jahan faith. Combining expertise in mounted combat with unwavering faith and divine power from Jah, these warriors are a terror on the battlefield and helped ensure Razh Jah’s rise to power. Unlike the rest of the Jahan religion, the Buffalo Soldiers follow a strict hierarchy, with their chief officers reporting directly to Jah himself.

Alignment: Buffalo Soldiers can be of any Good alignment, though Neutral Good is most common.
Hit Die: d10.
To qualify to become a buffalo soldier, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
  • Religion: Must worship Jah.
  • Base Attack Bonus: +5.
  • Special: Challenge class ability.
  • Skills: Knowledge (religion) 5 ranks.
  • Feats: Mounted Combat, Trample
  • Spells: Able to cast 1st-level divine spells.
Class Skills
The buffalo soldier’s class skills are Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Ride (Dex) and Sense Motive (Wis).
  • Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.
Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special Spells
1 +1 +1 +0 +0 Mount, Challenge, Revolution Domain
2 +2 +1 +1 +1 Divine Mount +1 level to divine spellcasting class
3 +3 +2 +1 +1 Bonus Feat +1 level to divine spellcasting class
4 +4 +2 +1 +1 Divine Stampede 1/day +1 level to divine spellcasting class
5 +5 +3 +2 +2 Devastating Stampede
6 +6 +3 +2 +2 Bonus Feat +1 level to divine spellcasting class
7 +7 +4 +2 +2 Divine Stampede 2/day +1 level to divine spellcasting class
8 +8 +4 +3 +3 Join the Stampede +1 level to divine spellcasting class
9 +9 +5 +3 +3 Bonus Feat
10 +10 +5 +3 +3 Divine Stampede 3/day, Greater Stampede +1 level to divine spellcasting class

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Buffalo Soldier’s gain no additional proficiency in weapons or armor.

Challenge: A buffalo soldier’s class levels stack with Cavalier levels for determining the damage dealt by his Challenge class ability.

Mount (Ex): A Buffalo Soldier gains the service of a loyal and trusty buffalo to carry him into battle. This mount functions as a druid’s animal companion, using the buffalo soldier’s level as his effective druid level. The buffalo uses the base stats gained as a 7th level druid, regardless of the buffalo soldier’s actual level. If he already has an animal companion from another class, it is immediately replaced by a buffalo, and his levels in all classes that grant an animal companion stack for determining the mount’s abilities.

A buffalo soldier does not take an armor check penalty on Ride checks while riding his mount. The mount is always considered combat trained and begins play with Light Armor Proficiency as a bonus feat. A buffalo soldier’s bond with his mount is strong, with the pair learning to anticipate each other’s moods and moves. Should a buffalo soldier’s mount die, the buffalo soldier may find another mount to serve him after 1 week of mourning. This new mount does not gain the link, evasion, devotion, or improved evasion special abilities until the next time the buffalo soldier gains a level.

Revolution Domain: At 1st level, the Buffalo Soldier gains the Revolution Domain as a bonus domain. When determining the powers and bonus spells granted by this domain, the buffalo soldier’s effective cleric level is equal to his class level plus any divine spellcaster levels. He also receives additional domain spell slots, just like a cleric.

If the buffalo soldier already has the Revolution Domain (as a Cleric or Inquisitor), he may select any one domain granted by his deity. The buffalo soldier’s levels stack with any cleric levels for determining the powers of all domains he has access to.

Divine Mount: Starting at 2nd level, while the buffalo soldier is in contact with his mount, the mount gains DR/magic equal to the buffalo soldier’s level. The mount’s natural weapons count as magical for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Bonus Feats: At 3rd level, and again at 6th level and 9th level, the buffalo soldier gains a bonus feat in addition to those gained from normal advancement. The buffalo soldier must meet the prerequisites of these bonus feats. This feat must be selected from the following list: Bull Rush Strike, Charge Through, Combat Casting, Greater Bull-Rush, Greater Overrun, Improved Bull-Rush, Improved Overrun, Indomitable Mount, Mounted Shield, Ride-by Attack, Spirited Charge, Unseat, Warrior Priest, or Weapon Focus.

Divine Stampede: At 4th level, the buffalo soldier can summon 1d4+2 Celestial Bison, as the summon monster spell. This ability can be used once per day, increasing to 2/day at 7th level, and 3/day at 10th level.

At 10th level, he summons 3d6 Celestial Bison with each use of this ability.

Devastating Stampede: At 5th level, the base trample damage dealt by the buffalo soldier’s mount, as well as any creatures summoned using divine stampede increases by one size category to 2d8. In addition, his mount and any summoned creatures gain a +2 sacred bonus to the save DC of their trample attack.

Join the Stampede: At 8th level, whenever the buffalo soldier is mounted and attempts an Overrun combat maneuver or charges, he may use his divine stampede ability as a swift action. The summoned bison appear running adjacent to the buffalo soldier and immediately perform a stampede attack.