[HR-Class] The Windwalker

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Dwimmermount BackerDomains At War Contributor
Joined: 2012-04-16 15:29
[HR-Class] The Windwalker

Prime Requisite CON and DEX
Requirements None
Hit Dice d6
Maximum Level 14

In the isolated tribes of the North, religious and civil power tends to be consolidated in a single chief - the Goði - who serves as chief and judge of the tribe. Some Goði are particularly blessed by the spirits, especially in tribes without a proper shaman, and gain spells. Those are the Windwalkers, blessed warriors and hunters of their tribes. They lead the hunts and raids of their people, and most importantly, serve as the final arbiter of the tribe's thing, its legal assembly.

In my campaign, A Saga of the Osterseas, This is most true among the Hæt people, who have lived in isolated village units for hundreds of years eschewing the more complicated religious trappings that the other Norði tribes have developed. Their shamanic totems represent one of the Eight Fated Gods that the Northmen worship. The Hæt have more open space and horses than other Norði do, and so tend to rely on hit-and-run bow tactics in war and ship raids.

Windwalkers are superb combatants, though their reliance on skirmish tactics means they are not as tough as other fighters. At first level, Windwalkers hit an unarmored foe (AC 0) with an attack throw of 10+. They advance in attack throws and saving throws as fighters, by two points every three levels of experience. Windwalkers increase their base damage roll with successful missile attacks by +1 at first level and by an additional +1 at 3rd, 6th, 9th, and 12th level. They may fight with a one handed weapon and shield, a one handed weapon, or with a weapon in each hand. They may use all one handed weapons and all missile weapons. To stay mobile, they do not wear armor heavier than leather, though they can fight with shields.

Windwalkers are unnervingly Accurate with their ranged weapons, gaining a +1 to-hit with them. They are also Precise Shots and can shoot into melee at a -4 penalty. Windwalkers have animal reflexes, gaining +1 bonus to initiative and a +1 bonus to surprise rolls. Outdoors, Windwalkers are difficult to spot, having the ability to seemingly disappear into woods and underbrush with a proficiency throw of 3+ on 1d20. In dungeons, a Windwalker who is motionless and quiet in cover can escape detection with a proficiency throw of 14+ on 1d20.

A Windwalker's unique fighting style, called Windwalking, gives them a +1 bonus to Armor Class if wearing leather armor or lighter and able to move freely. At level 7, the AC bonus increases to +2, and at level 13 the AC bonus increases to +3.

Starting at 3rd level, A Windwalker casts divine spells as a shaman of half its level, using spells drawn from the Windwalker class list.

At 4th level, a Windwalker selects and attracts an Animal Totem as a Shaman.

At 5th level, a Windwalker gains the ability to swear Blood Brotherhood with his henchmen. Any henchmen who swear into the pact will gain a loyalty of +4 so long as the Windwalker lives. However, the Windwalker is beholden to their Blood Brothers, and is expected to take mortal risk to protect them and what they hold dear. Asking a henchman to swear into a blood pact causes an immediate loyalty roll. A roll resulting in a 9+ will cause the henchman to swear into the pact. A roll of 6-8 will cause the henchman to not swear in, but continue in the character's service, possibly swearing in at a later date. A result of less than 5 will cause the henchman to become intimidated by the pact, and that henchman will immediately resign. A henchman with a negative loyalty score will immediately resign without a reaction roll.

At 9th level, the Windwalker can build or claim a Clan Hall and rule his tribe as judge and priest. When the Windwalker estables his hall, 5d6x10 0th level tribesmen armed with various weapons (shaman chart), plus another 1d6 Windwalkers of 1st-3rd level of the same tribe come to serve him. These followers are completely loyal (morale +4), because they are blood brothers to the Windwalker. While in the Windwalker's service, his followers must be provided food and lodging, but need not be paid wages. They incur the same obligations as other blood brothers.

At 10th level, the spirits of animals speak to the Windwalker and they are considered a Friend of Birds and Beasts. The Windwalker can know the identity plants and fauna with a proficiency throw of 11+, and understands the subtle body language and moods of birds and beasts (though they may not understand the character). He gains +2 to all reaction rolls when encountering normal animals, and can take animals as henchmen.

Like other divine spellcasters, a Windwalker gains the ability to do magical research. At 10th level or higher, the Windwalker is able to research spells, scribe scrolls, and brew potions.

Alertness, Ambushing, Battle Magic, Beast Friendship, Climbing, Combat Reflexes, Combat Trickery (disarm, knock down), Command, Divine Blessing, Divine Health, Fighting Style, Healing, Leadership, Mountaineering, Naturalism, Passing Without Trace, Precise Shooting, Quiet Magic, Running, Seafaring, Skirmishing, Sniping, Swashbuckling, Theology, Tracking, Trapping, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus.

Spell List
1: Cure Light Wounds, Faerie Fire, Pass Without Trace, Remove Fear, Trance
2: Bless, Charm Animal, Delay Poison, Obscuring Cloud, Speak With Animals
3: Cure Disease, Detect Curse, Eyes of the Eagle, Growth of Animals, Striking
4: Command Animals, Cure Serious Wounds, Dispel Magic, Neutralize Poison, Summon Animals
5: Control Animals, Control Winds, Insect Plague, Quest, Sword of Fire

[Fighting 2, Divine 1, HD 1. 2,500 XP to get to second level. Attacks, saves, magic items as fighter.]

1 - 0 - Spirit Scout
2 - 2,500 - Spirit Outrider
3 - 5,000 - Forest Priest
4 - 10,000 - Explorer Priest
5 - 20,000 - Totem Guide
6 - 40,000 - Spirit Tracker
7 - 80,000 - Spiritfinder
8 - 160,000 - Ranger Shaman
9 - 280,000 - Windwalker
10 - 400,000 - "", 10th Level
11 - 520,000 - "", 11th Level
12 - 640,000 - "", 12th Level
13 - 720,000 - "" 13th Level
14 - 840,000 - Spirit Lord

Edit: Fixed proficiencies that were wrong. Added XP chart.

Dwimmermount BackerDomains At War Contributor
Joined: 2012-04-16 15:29

Some notes: The class' design was influenced by the creation of a fighter with some divine magic connection to nature. There are some notes of the D&D 3.X ranger in here, along with the historical references of the icelandic Shaman-Chief, the Goði. I think that in some campaigns it would be best to give these guys a melee instead of ranged bonus, but the ranged bonus is best for us due to cultural background.

We thought it was interesting that the class filled an unfilled ACKS niche - the full fighter with a small amount of divine spellcasting.

I'm particularly interested in what people have to say about the "Blood Brothers" mechanics. It's intended as a halfway between Cleric and Fighter strongholds.

We were amazed to note that a half-progression divine caster gets its filthy hands on fifth level spells, even if it's only one. Crazy.

The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

What a great class! I quite like it. It's somewhat a mix of Bladedancer, Ranger, and Shaman.

If I ever run a campaign set in Jutland, it certainly could make an appearance.

The Blood Brother mechanic is quite cool. I think it fits well, and could be re-purposed for someone who was running ACKS: Game of Thrones and wanted to have Bloodriders.

(Speaking of which, why has no one created ACKS: Game of Thrones? Man.)

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Joined: 2012-02-22 22:34

I like it Maticore - it's crazy that they end up with 5th level spells with a Divine 1 investment, but it is at the 'end game'.

The blood brotherhood mechanic seems interesting to me - appropriate to that kind of character. Because the loyalty bonus is so high, I might force the windwalker to ask a henchman to enter into the blood brotherhood after they are in his service for a certain amount of time. That way you can't skirt asking certain henchmen from entering the pact for fear of losing then due to a bad die roll, and it will also force you to release henchmen that you don't feel are 'worthy' enough to ask into the brotherhood. I would at the very least have a penalty to the morale roll of long-term henchmen who haven't been asked into the brotherhood.

Cool class backstory! Seems like a great specialty priest for an god of winds, storms, air, birds, etc.

Dwimmermount BackerDomains At War Contributor
Joined: 2012-04-16 15:29

Thanks guys! I'm glad you like it. The player loves it so far. I'm not sure that I'd complicate it much more, but I don't think I want there to be a penalty for a long time hench that's not a blood brother. You could employ, for example, a thief that you don't trust, but you find necessary. If you had an honorable, trustworthy hench that you didn't ask to swear in, I think I would start levying a morale penalty. He'd feel that his honor was being slighted!

My favorite thing about Blood Brothers is that their high loyalty only lasts until you die. Then they do whatever they please.


This should be in there: The reason it's the "Windwalker" is because the chief deities of the Fated Gods - Eða the mother (fury, civilization, honor) and Woþe the father (magic, healing, knowledge), are represented by the Eagle and Owl totems respectively.

The "royal family" of the northman gods are all bird spirits, so human royalty must also learn to "walk the winds, and see moral judgments from on high as the gods do." (Woþe's brother, Reþu, is the god of nature, storms, and the sea, as well as the king of raven spirits.)

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Joined: 2013-03-22 16:16

Very cool. LOVE the Blood Brother ability, and will be borrowing that.