Berserker, Variant (3.5e Class)
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Anger. Rage. Hatred. Passion. All these are facets of emotions, and the berserker is one who brings them forth to their fullest potential. He uses the raw emotions within him, calling upon them as he goes forth into battle. This raw potential can be found in virtually anyone, but only few can bring that anger forth and use it to aid them in their battle.
Making a Berserker
The berserker channels pure rage into ferocious power. He doesn't just close with monsters and attack them in melee; he charges into battle and chases down any who try to flee. Berserkers are meant to dish out tons of damage quickly, but in the process often make themselves liable to damage too. Despite their damage reduction, a berserker is most reliable when there's someone around with healing capabilities, allowing him to throw himself headlong into combat without having to worry too much about his own hide.
Abilities: Because of their role in melee combat, Strength is a berserker's most important ability score. Dexterity can help a little with defense, since he cannot wear heavy armor, and Constitution can increase the berserker's hit points and it is often the secondary ability score of barbarians who use it to fuel their rage and a number of their abilities.
Races: The berserker class is most common among any savage humanoids, such as half-orcs, orcs, and wood elves. They may be common among certain human or dwarf cultures as well. Races which prefer less direct means of beating down opponents, such as gnomes, halflings, and most elves, rarely become berserkers.
Alignment: Chaotic. Starting Gold: 4d4×10 gp (100 gp)
Starting Age: Simple
|Saving Throws||Special||Rage||Just a Scratch|
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+0||Adrenaline, Berserk Power, Endurance, Fast Movement||+1d6/+0d6||0|
|2nd||+2||+3||+3||+0||Uncanny Dodge, Berserker Strike, Just a Scratch||+1d6/+0d6||1|
|3rd||+3||+3||+3||+1||Berserk Power, Berserker Mind||+1d6/+1d6||1|
|4th||+4||+4||+4||+1||Berserker Strike x2||+1d6/+1d6||2|
|6th||+6/+1||+5||+5||+2||Improved Uncanny Dodge, Taunt||+2d6/+1d6||3|
|7th||+7/+2||+5||+5||+2||Berserk Power x2, Diehard||+2d6/+1d6||3|
|10th||+10/+5||+7||+7||+3||Furious Attack -1||+3d6/+2d6||5|
|11th||+11/+6/+1||+7||+7||+3||Berserk Power, Ignore the Pain||+3d6/+2d6||5|
|13th||+13/+8/+3||+8||+8||+4||Berserk Power, Taunt Mass||+4d6/+2d6||6|
|15th||+15/+10/+5||+9||+9||+5||Berserk Power, Mettle of Fortitude||+4d6/+3d6||7|
|18th||+18/+13/+7/+3||+11||+11||+6||Furious Attack -2, Swift Taunt||+5d6/+3d6||9|
|19th||+19/+14/+8/+4||+11||+11||+6||Berserk Power, Defensive Roll||+5d6/+3d6||9|
|20th||+20/+15/+10/+5||+12||+12||+6||Berserker Strike, Deathless Frenzy||+5d6/+3d6||10|
Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the Berserker.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Berserkers are proficient with all simple and martial weapons. Berserkers are also proficient with light armor and medium armor.
Adrenaline (Ex): A berserker's anger is far more potent than that of common men, and rises and falls with the heat of battle. This rage is measured in Adrenaline Points, and the maximum number of Adrenaline Points a berserker may have at any given moment is equal to his Constitution score. At the beginning of an encounter, the berserker has no Adrenaline Points, and certain actions listed below can increase the berserker's Adrenaline Points:
|Event||Adrenaline Points Gained|
|Stoke Rage (Move Action)||1|
|Stoke Rage (Standard Action)||3|
|Stoke Rage (Full Round Action)||6|
|Suffer Attack from a Foe*||1|
|Damage a Foe*||1|
*Once per any creature's turn. Thus a scorching ray or magic missile would only gain the berserker one adrenaline.
The berserker may enter a rage (fueling various abilities below such as Rage) by spending 2 Adrenaline Points as a free action, and must spend another Adrenaline Point at the beginning of his turn to continue raging. If he cannot pay this point, his rage immediately ends and he must reactivate it.
Rage (Ex): The berserker puts far more force into his blows than other combatants, laying low his foes with impunity. At first level while raging, the berserker deals an extra 1d6 damage to all melee attacks derived from his BAB, extra attacks granted by spells, and attacks of opportunity, but not ones from your own class abilities or feats (such as two-weapon fighting or a monk's flurry), or natural attacks, even if they were granted by spells. This damage increases by 1d6 every four levels thereafter. He also gains a +1d6 damage bonus to all other attacks (not derived from his BAB) at third level, which increases by another 1d6 every six levels after that.
Thus, if a 6th level berserker with Improved Two-Weapon Fighting would have four attacks at +6/+6/+1/+1 (before bonuses or penalties from high Strength or two-weapon fighting); he would add the +3d6 damage from Rage to his first and third attack, since those are the ones that are derived from his BAB, and +1d6 damage to the second and fourth attacks..
Berserk Power (Ex): The berserker's strength grants him power that far exceeds that of normal men, allowing him to perform feats such as those rarely seen by mortals. At first level and every odd level afterwards, the berserker gains one of the abilities listed below. These may only be activated or active when in a rage.
Endurance: At level 1 a berserker gains the Endurance feat for free.
Fast Movement (Ex): A berserker’s land speed is faster than the norm for his race by +10 feet. This benefit applies only when he is wearing no armor, light armor, or medium armor and not carrying a heavy load. Apply this bonus before modifying the barbarian’s speed because of any load carried or armor worn.
Uncanny Dodge: At level 2, a berserker gains the ability to react to danger before his senses would normally allow him to do so. He retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a berserker already has Uncanny Dodge from another source then he gains Improved Uncanny Dodge instead.
Just a Scratch (Ex): A berserker is inhumanly durable, able to take the strongest blows of his enemies without flinching, and often putting himself in harm's way without concern for his own safety. He knows how to best present his body so that blows barely scratch him despite the strength behind them. A second level berserker gains DR 1/-. This DR increases by one every 2 levels afterwards. Even if all the damage a berserker would have taken is prevented by this class ability, he still gains adrenaline from attacks he would have normally taken damage from.
Berserker Mind (Ex): A berserker's mind is filled with the sounds of battle and the rage of war. Petty enchantments and magics of mages who try to deter him from sating his righteous fury mean nothing as he charges into battle without a thought for his own safety or that of his comrades. At third level, upon making a Will save against a mind-affecting effect of the enchantment school, the berserker may take an immediate action to spend a number of Adrenaline Points in order to gain a bonus to his saving throw equal to 2 + the number of Adrenaline Points spent. He may choose to activate this ability after having rolled but before knowing the results of the roll.
Berserker Strike (Ex): As he gains power, the berserker learns new techniques with which he can topple even the greatest foes. At second and fourth level and every four levels afterwards, the berserker gains one of the abilities listed below. These may only be activated while in a rage, and are a standard action unless otherwise listed, and any save required is equal to 10 + one-half character level + Strength modifier. Effects from Berserker Strikes last a single round unless otherwise mentioned.
Taunt (Ex): The Berserker is nothing without something to kill, and sometimes the something needs to come to him. When the enemies are proving to be stubborn, or intelligent, the Furious Berserker can taunt them into attacking him. As a standard action the Furious Berserker may make an Intimidate check verses the targets will save, or the target must focus on the Berserker for 1d4+1 rounds. If the target succeeds his save, the Berserker gains 10 adrenaline points.
Diehard: At seventh level, the berserker gains Diehard as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites for the feat.
Furious Attack (Ex): The berserker is so used to attacking wildly with all his strength that he learns to mitigate the penalty he might accrue from his incredible attacks. At tenth level, the berserker reduces the penalty he takes when using the Power Attack feat by one but retains the bonus damage. This penalty is further reduced by another one at eightteenth level.
Ignore the Pain (Ex): At eleventh level and higher, a berserker learns to accept the pain he feels on a daily basis, accepting it as just another part of himself, and is immune to any effects that are based off of pain (such as Power Word: Pain). Furthermore he knows how to minimize the debilitating and demoralizing aspects of the pain he suffers; any time the berserker takes damage, he may convert a number of points of damage up to his Constitution modifier into nonlethal damage. Thus, if a berserker with a Constitution of 17 took 22 damage, he would be able to convert 3 damage into nonlethal damage rather than take "real" damage.
Taunt Mass (Ex): This is the same as the Berserker's Taunt ability, accept it works on all enemies who is aware of him. The Berserker only gets +10 Adrenaline points if someone succeeds their save.
Improved Rage: Upon reaching 14th level, a berserker can now enter a rage by expending 1 Adrenaline Point instead of 2. In addition a berserkers rage can be maintained for 1 round without spending an Adrenaline Point before dropping out of his rage and having to reenter the rage. This cannot be used to start a rage for free.
Mettle of Fortitude (Ex): The berserker can resist magical attacks with greater effectiveness than other warriors. Beginning at 15th level, by drawing on your boundless energy fueled by his rage, the berserker can shrug off effects that would hinder even the toughest warrior. Should he succeed on a Fortitude save against an attack that would normally produce a lesser effect on a successful save (such as a spell with a saving throw entry of Fortitude partial), he instead negates the effect.
Swift Taunt (Ex): The faster you can get things done, the faster people die. The Berserker can now use his Taunt abilities as swift actions.
Defensive Roll: At nineteenth level, the berserker gains Defensive Roll as a bonus feat.
Deathless Frenzy (Ex): At twentieth level, a berserker has honed his body into a killing instrument that can fight on far longer than any mortal man. At the pinnacle of his strength, he can scorn death and unconsciousness while in a frenzy. As long as his rage continues, he is not treated as disabled at 0 hit points, nor is he treated as dying at –1 to –9 hit points. Even if reduced to –10 hit points or less, or if his nonlethal damage meets or exceeds his current HP, he continues to fight normally until his rage ends. At that point, the effects of his wounds apply normally if they have not been healed. This ability does not prevent death from spell effects such as slay living or disintegrate. This effect lasts for five rounds; if the berserker is still below -10 hit points after 5 rounds are over, he immediately suffers any consequences (probably death). Should the berserker rise above -10 HP before five rounds are over and drop below once more, the duration is reset.
|Baleful Appearance||Enemies you threaten take penalties to attack your allies.|
|Battle Rage||Gain adrenaline more quickly.|
|Can Hide, Can't Run||Run after enemies who attempt to flee from you.|
|"Don't turn your back on me!"||Can Hide, Can't Run||Attack enemies who attempt to flee from you.|
|Caution to the Wind||Provoke attacks of opportunity to gain a bonus to attacks.|
|Caution to the Hurricane||Caution to the Wind||Provoke more attacks of opportunity from enemies.|
|Suicidal Attack||Caution to the Wind||Gain a bonus to attacks and a penalty to AC equal to the number of adrenaline points spent.|
|Cornered Beast||Diehard||Gain bonuses to attack and damage when weakened.|
|Hulk Up||Become effectively one size larger when raging.|
|Titan||Hulk Up||Become one size larger.|
|Ignore Distractions||Reroll a saving throw you just made.|
|Fearless||Ignore Distractions||Become immune to fear effects while raging.|
|Unrelenting Anger||Fearless||Delay the effects of a negative enemy spell.|
|Break Free||Unrelenting Anger||Remove unwanted effects from yourself.|
|Improved Break Free||Break Free||You can break free more quickly from effects, even when others would be unable to take an action.|
|Mindless Rage||Break Free, +16 BAB||Gain immunity to mind-affecting effects while raging.|
|Protector||Gain adrenaline when designated allies take damage.|
|Angry Rebuke||Protector||Make an attack of opportunity when allies you're protecting are attacks.|
|Raging Speed||Gain a bonus to speed.|
|Burning Speed||Raging Speed||Move so quickly that enemies who you end up next to begin burning.|
|Scorn Earth||Your anger at the ground allows you to jump higher.|
|Repudiate Ground||Scorn Earth, +12 BAB||You become so angry at the ground that you literally repel it with your anger.|
|Throw Anything||Throw any object without a -4 penalty to attack from non-proficiency.|
|Come Home||Throw Anything||Weapons you throw gain the returning enhancement.|
|Rain of Blades||Come Home||Weapons immediately return to your hand, allowing you to full-attack with them.|
|Long Death||Come Home, +11 BAB||Treat thrown attacks as melee attacks.|
|Unstoppable Juggernaut||Break objects and doors with ease.|
Title (Adrenaline Points to activate, Prerequisites, Passive (Active while raging)/Active (Need to activate))
Angry Rebuke (1 AP, Protector, Active)
- By paying one Adrenaline Point as an immediate action, the berserker may take an Attack of Opportunity against an enemy who attacked an ally who is under the effect of the Protector ability. This ability requires the Protector ability.
Baleful Appearance (0 AP, Passive)
- Eyes of foes widen in terror as the berserker steps closer, drawing their eyes to him and unable to look away from his visage. Enemies the berserker threatens take a -1 penalty (increasing by one for every four class levels beyond the first, so -2 at level five, -3 at level nine, -4 at level thirteen, and so forth) to attacks made against a berserker's allies. The penalty to attacks cannot exceed his Charisma modifier, and this ability is considered a mind-affecting effect.
Battle Rage (2 AP, Active)
- A berserker's strength is almost a tangible thing, rising and falling with the ebb of battle. Once per encounter a berserker may activate this ability as a free action by spending two Adrenaline Points; until the berserker activates an ability that requires Adrenaline Points (apart from the ones lost while raging), any time he would gain Adrenaline Points he gains twice as many.
Break Free (2 AP, Unrelenting Anger, Active)
- Even the hardiest warriors can be brought low, but not the berserker who surges forward with renewed strength every time something new angers him. As a standard action by paying 2 Adrenaline Points, the berserker with this ability may select one of the conditions listed below or the effects of one spell, supernatural, or spell-like ability with the duration of 1 or more rounds that is currently affecting him, but not one whose duration is instantaneous or permanent. If this is a spell, supernatural, or spell-like ability, it must be targeted. The effects of this condition, spell, supernatural, or spell-like ability end and the berserker gains a +2 bonus to all attacks until the beginning of his next turn. If the removed effect affects others, its effects are unabated for them. The berserker may use this ability even if he would be unable to take actions, such as under the effects of a dominate person or hold person spell, or if nauseated (though not if dead, obviously).
- Conditions: Blinded, Confused, Cowering, Dazed, Dazzled, Deafened, Entangled, Exhausted, Fatigued, Fascinated, Frightened, Nauseated, Panicked, Paralyzed, Petrified, Shaken, Sickened, Stunned
Burning Speed (0 AP, Raging Speed, Passive)
- The berserker moves so fast that the speed of his movement blasts any foes he ends up near. If he moves up to 10' during his turn while under the effect of Raging Speed, any foes he ends up adjacent to suffer from burning for one round.
Can Hide, Can't Run (1 AP, +6 BAB, Active)
- The berserker's anger flashes as an enemy moves away from him, allowing him to pursue foes with incredible diligence. As an immediate action when an enemy moves away from him, the berserker may move up to twice his speed toward the enemy by spending one Adrenaline Point.
Caution to the Hurricane (0 AP, Caution to the Wind, Passive)
- The berserker's recklessness grows, allowing him to throw away any vestige of defense left and furiously attack his foes. When using Caution to the Wind, every foe who threatens the berserker during his turn may make an attack of opportunity at him, and he gains a bonus to attacks equal to the total number of Attacks of Opportunity made against him.
Caution to the Wind (1 AP, Active)
- The berserker throws caution to the wind, allowing him to take numerous cuts from his foes, only to swing even more ferociously at your target. By spending one Adrenaline Point as a swift action, all foes that threaten the berserker may make an attack of opportunity against him. He gains a bonus to attacks until the start of his next turn equal to the number of Attacks of Opportunity made against him when using this ability.
Come Home (0 AP, Throw Anything, Passive)
- Any weapon used by the berserker when using the Throw Anything ability gains the Returning special ability.
Cornered Beast (0 AP, Diehard feat, Passive)
- When cornered and staring in the face of death the berserker is at his most dangerous. Like a wounded beast, he fights tooth and nail to take his foes down with him into the abyss. While under 0 HP, the berserker with this ability gain a +2 bonus to all melee attack rolls and deals an extra 3d6 damage with all melee attacks he make.
"Don't turn your back to me!" (1 AP, Can Hide, Can't Run, Active)
- The berserker's rage flares as he chases his enemy. By spending one Adrenaline Point upon reaching a foe he used Can Hide, Can't Run on, he may make a single melee attack against that foe. This attack takes a -2 penalty, and the berserker may add any damage from the Rage ability to this attack.
Fearless (0 AP, Ignore Distractions, Passive)
- Fear means nothing to a berserker in the grip of his rage. While raging, a berserker with this ability is immune to Fear effects.
Feel no Pain (1 AP, Active)
- The berserker's rage overcomes his weaknesses, allowing him to suffer strikes that would fell mortal men. By spending a single Adrenaline Point as a non-action in response to an attack, the berserker reduces the damage taken from that attack by a number equal to one-half his HD plus his Charisma modifier.
Ignore Distractions (1 AP, Active)
- A berserker's rage encompasses his whole being, allowing him to power through effects that would confuse another. As an immediate action, a berserker may spend one Adrenaline Point to re-roll a saving throw he just made.
Hulk Up (0 AP, Passive)
- The berserker's muscles strain and veins pop up all over his body as he strains against his limits. A berserker with this ability is treated as having a Powerful Build while raging.
Improved Break Free (0 AP, Break Free, Passive)
- The berserker may use Break Free as a swift action, and may use it even in cases when he would normally be unable to act, such as while paralyzed, under a compulsion effect, or the like (but not when dead).
Long Death (0 AP, Come Home and +11 BAB, Passive)
- Any attacks made by the Berserker when using Rain of Blades or Throw Anything are treated as melee attacks, including for the purpose of Strength bonus, feats, and so forth. Range penalties, as well as attacking into melee or through cover still incur the normal penalties.
Mindless Rage (0 AP, Break Free and +16 BAB, Passive)
- Nothing matters to the berserker except for his anger, and the ones who provoke it. A berserker with this ability is immune to mind-affecting effects.
Protector (1 AP, Active)
- The berserker's protective instincts flare up, causing his fury to rise as he sees his friends hurt. As a free action, the berserker can pay one Adrenaline Point and designate a single ally. Whenever that ally takes damage for one round, the berserker gains two adrenaline points.
Rain of Blades (2 AP, Come Home, Active)
- By paying two Adrenaline Points as a swift action, Throw Anything requires no Adrenaline Points to activate and weapons bounce back to the berserker's hand immediately after making an attack and can be caught as a free action. This ability allows the berserker to make a full attack entirely with a single thrown weapon, or with a mix of ranged and melee attacks.
Raging Speed (1 AP, Active)
- The berserker's adrenaline pushes him ever faster. By spending one Adrenaline Point as a swift action, the berserker gains a +10' bonus to his speed for one round. This bonus increases by another 10' at level 8 and every 6 levels afterwards (+20' at level 8, +30' at level 14, +40' at level 20).
Repudiate Ground (3 AP, Scorn Earth and +12 BAB, Active)
- The berserker's rage increases, so much so that it even shapes reality around him. By spending three Adrenaline Points as a swift action the berserker gains a Fly speed equal to his base speed with average maneuverability. At the beginning of his turn the berserker must pay one adrenaline point (in addition to the cost of continuing to rage) or his flight ends, potentially causing him to fall out of the sky. This ability is a supernatural ability.
Scorn Earth (1 AP, Active)
- A berserker's disdain for all those beneath him extends even to the earth itself. A berserker with this feat may spend one Adrenaline Point as part of a jump check to gain a +10 bonus to that check.
Suicidal Attack (Variable, Caution to the Wind, Active)
- The berserker ignores his own mortality as him completely focuses on his foe. By spending a number of Adrenaline Points (maximum equal to one-half his class level) as a free action, the berserker gains a bonus to attack and a penalty to AC equal to the number of Adrenaline Points spent until the start of his next turn.
Throw Anything (1 AP, Active)
- In the berserker's hands, any weapon becomes a deadly weapon. Upon gaining this ability, the berserker may throw any weapon he is proficient with as if it were a ranged weapon. The range increment of weapons used in conjunction with this feat is 10 feet. This ability costs one Adrenaline Point for every attack made.
Titan (3 AP, Hulk Up and +6 BAB, Active)
- The berserker with has finally broken his limits, allowing him to become a titan upon the battlefield, one that dwarfs normal men. By paying three Adrenaline Points as a swift action, the berserker grows one size larger, takes a -1 size penalty to attacks and AC, gains a +2 Strength bonus and a -2 Dexterity penalty while this ability is active. At the beginning of his turn the berserker must pay one adrenaline point (in addition to the cost of continuing to rage) or he is reduced back to his normal size. This ability is a supernatural ability.
Unrelenting Anger (1 AP, Fearless, Active)
- The berserker's rage encompasses his whole reality, delaying the onset of negative effects that would stop him from reaching his target. Upon being affected by a targeted negative effect (such as a Slow spell or a Ray of Enfeeblement) the berserker may ignore the effects of this effect for one round by paying an Adrenaline Point. At the end of the berserker's turn, he may pay another Adrenaline Point to delay the effect for another round.
Unstoppable Juggernaut (1 AP, Active)
- Few barriers pose a problem for the raging berserker. By spending one Adrenaline Point as a free action, the berserker gains a +10 bonus to the next Strength check he makes to burst through or break an object, or on a bull rush attempt.
|Gutslash||Sicken an enemy.|
|Improved Gutslash||Gutslash||Stagger a foe.|
|Greater Gutslash||Improved Gutslash and +12 BAB||Nauseate a foe.|
|Hailstrike||+8 BAB||Attack enemies multiple times.|
|Improved Hailstrike||Hailstrike||Make even more attacks against an enemy.|
|Mountain Crash||Deal extra damage, ignore DR and Hardness.|
|Final Thrust||Mountain Crash and +12 BAB||Make a final attack for incredible damage.|
|Overbearing Blow||Knock an enemy down.|
|All Fall Down||Overbearing Blow||Knock multiple enemies down.|
|Ruin Senses||Dazzle an enemy.|
|Improved Ruin Senses||Ruin Senses||Deafen a foe.|
|Greater Ruin Senses||Improved Ruin Senses||Blind a foe.|
|Scare the Weak||Frighten an enemy.|
|Improved Scare the Weak||Scare the Weak||Frighten an enemy into silence.|
|Greater Scare the Weak||Improved Scare the Weak and +12 BAB||Cause foes to run away in fear.|
|Smothering Strike||Entangle an enemy.|
|Improved Smothering Strike||Smothering Strike||Slow an enemy down.|
|Greater Smothering Strike||Improved Smothering Strike||Daze a foe.|
|Whirling Frenzy||Make an additional attack when full attacking.|
|Improved Whirling Frenzy||Whirling Frenzy||Lower the penalty from Whirling Frenzy by one.|
|Greater Whirling Frenzy||Improved Whirling Frenzy||Lowe the penalty from Whirling Frenzy by another one.|
Title (Adrenaline Points to activate, Prerequisites)
All Fall Down (3 AP, Overbearing Blow)
- Upon a successful hit, choose up to two enemies within 15' of you; these along with the enemy you hit must make a Reflex save or become prone.
Final Thrust (5 AP, Mountain Crash and +12 BAB)
- Lose all remaining adrenaline in addition to the cost. Upon a successful hit, target takes an additional 1d6 damage for every two character level you possess as well as 2d6 additional damage for every point of adrenaline spent beyond those required to activate this ability, and you ignore hardness or damage reduction. Thus, a 12th level character with this who had 12 adrenaline would deal an additional 20d6 damage (6d6 from character level, 14d6 from additional adrenaline).
Greater Gutslash (4 AP, Improved Gutlash)
- Upon a successful hit, target must make a Fortitude save or become Nauseated.
Greater Ruin Senses (4 AP, Improved Ruin Senses)
- Upon a successful hit, target must make a Will save or become Blinded.
Greater Scare the Weak (4 AP, Improved Scare the Weak)
- Upon a successful hit, target must make a Will save or become Frightened.
Greater Smothering Strike (4 AP, Improved Smothering Strike)
- Upon a successful hit, target must make a Reflex save or become Dazed.
Greater Whirling Frenzy (0 AP, Improved Whirling Frenzy)
- Honing his skill ever farther, the berserker can lay waste to his foes without wasting a breath. The penalty when using Whirling Frenzy drops by another one to 0.
Gutslash (1 AP)
- Upon a successful hit, target must make a Fortitude save or become Sickened.
Hailstrike (3 AP, +8 BAB)
- Make a single attack as a full-round action. Should you successfully hit, make another attack at a -4 penalty. Repeat until you miss. The penalty to attack is cumulative.
Improved Gutslash (2 AP, Gutslash)
- Upon a successful hit, target must make a Fortitude save or become Staggered.
Improved Hailstrike (4 AP, Hailstrike)
- This works as Hailstrike, except that the penalty is reduced to -3 rather than being at -4.
Improved Ruin Senses (2 AP, Ruin Senses)
- Upon a successful hit, target must make a Will save or become Deafened.
Improved Scare the Weak (2 AP, Scare the Weak)
- Upon a successful hit, target must make a Will save or become Silenced (as per the spell).
Improved Smothering Strike (2 AP, Smothering Strike)
- Upon a successful hit, target must make a Reflex save or become slowed.
Improved Whirling Frenzy (0 AP, Whirling Frenzy)
- The berserker becomes ever more accurate, following his foes with scent and sight. The penalty when using Whirling Frenzy drops by one to -1.
Mountain Crash (3 AP)
- Upon a successful hit, deal an additional 1d6 damage for every three character levels possessed. This attack ignores damage reduction and hardness.
Overbearing Blow (2 AP)
- Upon a successful hit, target must make a Reflex save or become prone.
Ruin Senses (1 AP)
- Upon a successful hit, target must make a Will save or become Dazzled.
Scare the Weak (1 AP)
- Upon a successful hit, target must make a Will save or become Shaken.
Smothering Strike (1 AP)
- Upon a successful hit, target must make a Reflex save or become Entangled.
Whirling Frenzy (3 AP)
- The berserker becomes whirling circle of blades and teeth that rend all in his path. By spending three Adrenaline Points as a swift action, the berserker may make one additional attack when making a full attack, and may add any damage from the Rage ability to this attack. This attack and all other attacks he makes during his turn take a -2 penalty.
Wild Elf Berserker Starting Package
Armor: Hide armor (+3 AC, armor check penalty -3, speed 20', 25 lb.)
Weapons: Falchion (2d4, crit 18-20/x2, 8 lbs, slashing).
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 6 + Int modifier.
Gear: Backpack, bedroll, waterskin, flint & steel, 3 torches, sewing needle, belt pouch, sack, traveler's outfit.
Gold: 1d4 gp.
Playing a Berserker
Religion: Berserkers often venerate the gods that idealize their virtues, such as strength, survival, or even passion or slaughter. Others venerate the gods close to the woodlands, seeing a connection between themselves and the animals of the wild.
Other Classes: Berserkers get along just fine with the more outdoors-oriented classes such as rangers and druids, as well as with those who let their passions run loose such as bards. However, classes who are set in their ways or who have rigid codes of honor such as wizards, paladins, and monks, can often be at odds with a berserker's view of the world.
Combat: Berserkers love to charge into combat headlong, bowling over foes and feeling their anger rise as their foes fall before them. A veritable battering ram, the berserker sometimes even leaves himself open to attacks, allowing enemies to hit him without a care for the damage that they might cause.
Advancement: Sneaky berserkers sometimes multiclass as rogues, while others who seek the companionship of an animal who understands the feelings that burn within might become rangers. While others who undergo strict martial study may become fighters, few berserkers become spellcasters, though some find that they have an innate gift for sorcery and may become battlemages who buff their considerable muscle with spells.
Berserkers in the World
|“||Has anyone seen my arm?||”|
|—Korgath, Half-Orc Berserker|
Berserkers can serve in a number of different roles; the bandit king, the lowly raider, and the tribeleader may all be berserkers who allow their passion and rage to overtake them in the heat of battle, serving as an example to their comrades of how battle is to be reveled in rather than feared.
Daily Life: From day-to-day, berserkers are adept at living in the wilderness. Often trappers and woodsmen, they sometimes lead travelers through dark and dusky paths where others fear to tread. Yet the berserker believes in himself and his own resilience, often allowing him to tread where few others dare.
Organizations: Unless under the banner of a single tribe-leader, berserkers rarely congregate together in large numbers. More often they can be found as shock troopers held back before the fray, or mercenaries who enjoy their job immensely. However, a number of organizations have learned to keep berserkers happy, since they can start fighting amongst themselves and other units if left bored for too long.
NPC Reactions: Most NPCs are unaware that most berserkers they meet listen to their passions. Often they might mistake them for simple woodsmen, mercenaries, soldiers, or the like. However, it quickly becomes clear as soon as a fight breaks who the berserker is, and their rage is terrifying to behold.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Local) can research berserkers to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|10||Berserkers use their rage to power their attacks, rather than relying on pure muscle or skill.|
|15||When a berserker is hit or hits someone, their rage grows allowing them to grow exponentially in power.|
|20||Berserkers are less hurt by attacks of opportunity, and they can often be used to fuel their rage.|
|25||Characters who gain this level of knowledge can find out information about specific berserkers or organizations related to them.|
Berserkers in the Game
Berserkers charge to the forefront fairly often, ignoring the threat of their enemies for the opportunity to decimate their foes. Tanks who ignore their own safety in favor of pummeling their foes, berserkers can often be seen foaming at the mouth as they charge into the fray without a sign of caution or hesitation.
Adaptation: Other emotions apart from rage and passion might fuel a berserker's strength; for example, sorrow might be their fuel, added on when they see their friends hurt, when an enemy hurts them, and when they suffer because of an enemy they must kill. In this case, the class might instead be called the "dirgeknight". On the other hand, another source of power could be pain for the berserker; the pain of others that he inflicts, as well as the pain others inflict on him. This variant of berserker may be known as the "painbearer" or "painbringer".