Jordan's Page of Useless Babble


The rugged sell-sword travels from town to town, righting wrongs, destroying ancient evils and uncovering priceless treasures. This is not the life of a conscript. Usually a local with some talent at fighting, but not particularly inclined to travel, the conscript is usually content to act as a town-watch or as a member of the local constabulary. Fate however may have other plans, and a normally sedentary warrior could find themselves thrust into the middle of an adventure.
    The conscript is a base class with a twist. Accessible to any character at 1st level, it represents a more heroic version of the warrior class from the Dungeon Master's Guide. Consider taking this class to represent a warrior who has been thrust into a life of adventure.
    Adventures: For some conscripts, the concept of adventuring scares the wits out of them. They aren't used to a life on the road, new cultures or travelling into forgotten crypts in search of a growing evil. They're used to being muscle for their small communities, acting as guards or the like. For these conscripts, adventuring can be an extremely uncomfortable experience, at least until they get the hang of it.
    For other conscripts, a life in a small village, with a quiet job is stifling. When the opportunity presents itself, they throw themselves into it, doing whatever they can to escape their humdrum existence. For them, adventuring is an adventure. The battles, the hardships and the gains are all stories to be told over a pint and some laughs.
    Characteristics: Conscripts know how to fight, but they haven't received any formal training in the nature of battle. While they understand the underlying concepts, they simply don't have the versatility that fighters have. Instead, they focus on polearms, the standard weapon of guards the world over. While a weapon like a halberd may not have the flashiness or power of something like a greatsword, it is the conscript's livelihood. Conscripts are also trained to keep their mouths shut and they eyes ever-watching, searching for the next trouble, so that it doesn't catch them unawares.
    Alignment: Conscripts come from every alignment. Generally more lawful or even neutral than chaotic, conscripts tend to prefer structure in their lives. Good conscripts may be friendly and helpful, or at the very least, quiet and stoic, while evil ones tend to be bullies, delighting in cruelty and causing pain to those that draw their ire.
    Religion: Conscripts come from all walks of life, but usually worship deities that expose strength and martial might. Good conscripts may worship Heironeous, Kord or St. Cuthbert. Evil conscripts worship deities like Hextor and Erythnul. Dwarven conscripts generally worship Moradin, and Yondalla is known to have several halfling conscripts in her service.
    Background: Many conscripts have worked previously as guards, militiamen and as local law-enforcement. Conscripts may also have marched with an army at some point in their lives, and may even have retired from that life in favor of a more peaceful existence before they began adventuring.
    While they are certainly more opportunities for prospective fighters to learn their trade in larger cities, conscripts can be found just about anywhere from small communities to metropolises. Where ever there is a need for somebody to heft a pike, you can be sure that a conscript can come from there.
    Races: Conscripts come from just about every race, although they are more common in structured communities. Humans, dwarves, gnomes and halflings are the most common races, although half-orcs have been known to become conscripts as well. The life of a conscript does not generally appeal to half-elves, nor does it to elves, which are more comfortable with archery over polearms and heavy armor.
    Classes: Conscripts get along best with other martial classes, mainly fighters, rangers and paladins. While they greatly respect the raw abilities of the barbarian, conscripts generally can't comprehend their untamed ways. Conscripts show great respect for druids and clerics for their mastery of the divine. They are generally mistrustful of bards and rogues, treating them as ne'er-do-wells and scoundrels. Conscripts generally don't understand the esoteric ways of monks, sorcerers and wizards. While they may be in awe of the abilities of these classes, they are so far removed from the conscript's worldview that they are mysterious and alien to them.
    Role: The conscript is a melee warrior that focuses on polearms and heavy armor. While they can fight from the front lines, their preference for reach weapons means that they rarely have to actually be there. In battle, they do what they do best: guard, whether it be protecting an ally from attack or preventing enemies from passing through an area. Outside of the heat of battle, they may not be particularly skilled, but they tend to be fairly aware of their surroundings.

Game Rule Information
Conscripts have the following game statistics.
    Abilities: Strength is extremely important for a conscript, as it allows them to make powerful attacks against their enemies. It also assists them in making more menial roles, such as hauling heavy objects, that conscripts are often forced to do. A good Constitution score is also required by a conscript. Hardiness prevents them from being easily wounded, and prevents them from becoming brought low by things like poisons or disease. Many conscripts prefer to be heavily armored, so Dexterity is usually not a concern for them. While their mental facilities may not be as important as their physical attributes, the most successful conscripts are usually the ones with higher Wisdom scores, as it helps keep them from being caught unawares.
    Alignment: Any.
    Hit Die: d8.
    Starting Age: As rogue.
    Starting Gold: 5d4 x 10 gp.

Class Skills
The conscript's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Ride (Dex), and Swim (Str). See Chapter 4: Skills in the Player's Handbook for skill descriptions.
    Skill Points at 1st Level: (2 + Int modifier) x 4.
    Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the conscript.
    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The conscript is proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with all armor (heavy, medium and light) and shields (including tower shields).
    Alertness: Most conscripts spend time acting as guards, lookouts or militiamen, and are always on the lookout for trouble. At 1st level they receive Alertness as a bonus feat.
    Fighter Level Increase: At 1st level and again at 3rd, the conscript gains an effective fighter level for the purposes of meeting prerequisites for feats or similar abilities. This means that a 3rd level conscript/2nd level fighter is able to qualify for the Weapon Specialization feat as if a 4th level fighter.
    Pikeman (Ex): Conscripts are well trained in the use of polearms over other kinds of weapons. Starting at 2nd level, they receive a +1 bonus to attack rolls when making an attack with a polearm weapon.
    This benefit does not stack with the Weapon Focus feat, but is treated as the equivalent of the Weapon Focus feat for meeting prerequisites for feats and prestige classes.
    Haft Block (Ex): Conscripts are trained to defend against attacks, using their weapons to parry blows that come their way. When wielding a polearm weapon in two hands, they receive a +1 shield bonus to their Armor Class.

Table 1-01: The Conscript

Attack Bonus
1st +1
Alertness, +1 fighter level
2nd +2
3rd +3
Haft block, +1 fighter level

What is a Polearm?
Simply put, a polearm is a two-handed weapon that consists of a long shaft, generally wooden, and usually also posseses an implement on one or both ends used for striking at an opponent. Examples of polearms from the Player's Handbook include the dwarven urgrosh, glaive, guisarme, halberd, longspear, orc double axe, quarterstaff, ranseur and spear. More examples from other sources can be found in Dragon Magazine #331. Your Dungeon Master may rule that other weapons can be considered part of the polearm family.
    Polearms are favored by guards and militiamen due to their ease of use and their ability to strike at enemies at a distance.

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