Gladiators in AthasEdit
The arena is the battlefield of the gladiator. From hand–to–hand combat in the mud pits of small forts to the grand games of the city‐states, the gladiator is a warrior who fights to the sounds of people cheering his name or cursing his presence. A master of crowd control and the art of prolonged combat, gladiators are trained to fight.
Their exploits are the stuff of legends. Children follow their progress avidly, some even going so far as to paint the walls of the cities with pictures of their favorites in defiance of the templars. Some gladiators achieve such a measure of fame that their reputation spreads far from their city‐states, bringing citizens of outlying towns to the arenas to witness these masters at their craft.
They train to best wild beasts in deadly games for the amusement of the masses. They fight for glory, wealth, prestige and power. They fight to survive. Some are merely slaves, having to fight and perhaps hoping to win a chance to obtain freedom, while some fight willingly for the thrill of combat or the promise of riches and fame.
A gladiator must train constantly to maintain his puissance. Thus, much of his day is spent swinging wooden weapons, doing basic calisthenics, tightrope walking, and attending dodging practice. While out adventuring, a gladiator often spends time at night on watch practicing his move and stretching. Once he has reached a respectable level of accomplishment, a gladiator might seek sponsorship from nobles and templars. These patrons offer better training and housing in return for no less than 50% of the free gladiator’s earnings and the companionship of the gladiator.
High‐level gladiators often find sponsorship from the rich. Nobles and templars will pay well to get an aspiring gladiator into their gladiator stables. Those cities that allow free gladiators to enter the games often have gladiators without such ties.
Easily motivated by promises of silver, glory, and freedom (whichever the employer possesses a surplus at the moment), gladiators can lend excellent, efficient muscle to any party. Most people look on gladiators with awe. The exception is when dealing with rival gladiators and their fans, which usually view them with contempt and try to belittle their abilities, generally displaying indifferent to unfriendly attitudes.
Role: Gladiators are martial entertainers who excel at using their talents to demoralize their enemies and inspire their allies. They employ exotic weapons to better amuse crowds, whilst their training in defensive maneuvers allows them to survive the long battles demanded by the bloodthirsty arena‐goers of Athas. In and out of the arena, an Athasian gladiator is tough to take down.
Character Build: Strength and Constitution are key abilities to let you hit your enemies and survive punishment. You will need Charisma to take full advantage of all your Gladiatorial Performance powers, as well as for Bluffing and Intimidating foes. Dexterity is useful to boost the meager armors of Athas and bolster acrobatic maneuvers.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: You are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light armor, medium armor and shields (except tower shields).
Gladiatorial Performance: Once per day per gladiator level, you can use your talents to affect enemies and allies. Each ability requires both a minimum gladiator level and a minimum number of ranks in the Perform skill to qualify. Starting a gladiatorial performance effect is a standard action unless otherwise stated. Some effects require concentration, which means you must take a standard action each round to maintain the ability.
Combat Stance: A gladiator with 1 or more ranks in Perform can assume a combat stance, showing off to spectators and displaying a warning to opponents. You receive a +2 competence bonus to AC against the first attack made against you within 5 rounds after assuming the stance. At 6th level combat stance can be assumed as a move action, and at 12th level as a swift action.
Martial Display: A gladiator with 1 or more ranks in Perform can entertain the crowd and intimidate enemies with a display of unarmed attacks or weapon prowess. You receive a +2 competence bonus to the first attack roll you make within 5 rounds after ending the martial 15 display. At 6th level martial display can be assumed as a move action, and at 12th level as a swift action.
Team Strike: A gladiator with 1 or more ranks in Perform can distract an enemy so an ally can exploit a vital spot when making a melee attack. Team strike can only be used against an enemy you threaten with a melee weapon. The ally must act on the same initiative as you or before your next turn to gain the benefit of team strike. The ally receives a +1 bonus to hit and inflicts an additional 1d4 points of damage on the next melee attack against the target. If the enemy moves out of your threat range before your ally attacks, the ally does not receive the benefits of team strike. Creatures immune to sneak attack damage and critical hits are immune to team strike. At 7th level and every six levels thereafter these bonuses increase by +1 to attack and +1d4 to damage (+2 attack and +2d4 damage at 7th, +3 attack and +3d4 at 13th, +4 attack and +4d4 at 19th).
Taunt: A gladiator of 3rd or higher level with 3 or more ranks in Perform can demoralize enemies by verbal ridicule. Enemies must be within 30 feet of the gladiator and capable of hearing you, and you must be able to see your enemies. Each enemy affected suffers a –1 morale penalty to attack and damage rolls, and a –1 morale penalty on saving throws versus charm and fear effects. The effect lasts as long as enemies hear your taunts and for 5 rounds thereafter. At 8th level and every six gladiator levels thereafter, the penalties increase by 1 (–2 at 8th, –3 at 14th and –4 at 20th). Taunt is a mind-affecting ability.
Shake Off: A gladiator of 6th or higher level with 6 or more ranks in Perform can try to end a mind-affecting effect in play on himself or an ally. You shake your head violently to clear your mind, or slap an ally to bring her back to her senses. The recipient of the shake off can reroll a single failed save or opposed skill check (with the same DC as the failed roll) to end a mind-affecting effect. If there is no save or check to avoid the mind-affecting effect, the effect ends automatically.
Trick: A gladiator of 9th or higher level with 9 or more ranks in Perform can temporarily confuse an adversary through the use of ploy and deception. The creature to be tricked must be within 30 feet, able to see and hear you. You must also be able to see the creature. You make an opposed Bluff check (vs. Sense Motive) as a move action. If the creature succeeds on the opposed roll, you cannot attempt to trick that creature again for 24 hours. If its roll fails, the creature becomes dazed (unable to act, but can defend normally) for 1 round. For every three gladiator levels attained beyond 9th, you can target one additional creature with a single use of this ability (two at 12th level, three at 15th, four at 18th).
Chant: A gladiator of 12th or higher level with 12 or more ranks in Perform can start a chant. The chant boosts the gladiator or an ally’s abilities, granting a +2 competence bonus to AC, skill checks and saving throws. To be affected an ally must be within 30 feet of you. For every three levels attained beyond 12th, you can affect one additional creature within 30 feet (two creatures at 15th level, three at 18th). Combat chant is a mind-affecting ability which lasts as long as you chant and for 5 rounds thereafter.
Threatening Glare: A gladiator of 15th or higher with 15 or more ranks of Perform can panic enemies with his mere gaze. Creatures within a 30 feet radius that can see you must make a Will Save (DC 10 + half your class level + your Charisma bonus). On failing, creatures with less HD than you are affected as if under the effects of a fear spell for 5 rounds. Those with equal to or more than your HD become shaken for 5 rounds. If the creature succeeds on the save you cannot attempt to affect that creature again for 24 hours. Threatening Glare is a mind–affecting gaze affect.
Dragon’s Fury: A gladiator of 18th or higher level with 18 or more ranks in Perform can enter a trance-like state in which his full offensive gladiatorial potential is unleashed. You are immune to fear effects, receive a +4 competence bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls, and an additional attack per round made at your highest base attack bonus. In addition, you gain two temporary hit points per class level. Dragon’s fury lasts for 10 rounds.
Mercy: At 1st level, you suffer no penalty to attack rolls when attacking with a weapon to inflict nonlethal damage.
Bonus Feats: A gladiator’s training is more specific than a fighter’s. Thrilling the bloodthirsty audiences of Athas involves training in both unarmed attacks and especially exotic weapons. At 1st, 4th, 8th, 12th and 16th level a gladiator receives an Exotic Weapon Proficiency as a bonus feat. At 2nd level a gladiator receives Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. At 3rd level, you gain Improved Feint as a bonus feat. At 6th, 10th, 14th, 18th and 20th levels you receive a bonus feat selected from “combat feats”. A gladiator counts as a fighter for the purpose of qualifying for feat prerequisites. Due to their extensive training in combat maneuvers, a gladiator counts as having Combat Expertise and Int 13 only for the purposes of qualifying for feat prerequisites. Such feats can only be purchased as bonus feats.
Arena Guile: Starting at 2nd level, you add one-half your gladiator level (round down) as a bonus to all Bluff and Sense Motive checks that relate directly to melee combat.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 4th level, you retain your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if you are caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, you still lose your Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If you already have uncanny dodge from a different class, you automatically gain improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.
Armor Training (Ex): Starting at 5th level, a gladiator learns to be more maneuverable while wearing armor. Whenever he is wearing armor, he reduces the armor check penalty by 1 (to a minimum of 0) and increases the maximum Dexterity bonus allowed by his armor by 1. Every four levels thereafter (9th, 13th, and 17th), these bonuses increase by +1 each time, to a maximum –4 reduction of the armor check penalty and a +4 increase of the maximum Dexterity bonus allowed. In addition, a gladiator can also move at his normal speed while wearing medium armor. At 7th level, a gladiator can move at his normal speed while wearing heavy armor.
No Mercy: Beginning at 7th level, you can perform a coup de grace as a standard action rather than a full-round action.
Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 8th level and higher, you can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack you by flanking you, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than you have gladiator levels. If you already have uncanny dodge (see above) from a second class, the levels from all classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum level a rogue must be to flank you.
Parry (Ex): Beginning at 11th level, once per round you can forfeit an attack to attempt to parry an incoming melee attack. The forfeited attack has to be the one with your highest base attack bonus. If wielding two weapons, the parry must be made using your primary weapon. You make an opposed attack roll with a –5 penalty against your attacker roll. If you succeed, the attack is parried and you suffer no damage or ill effects related to the attack, including touch attacks used to deliver spells.
Superior Feint: Beginning at 15th level, you can make a Bluff check to feint in combat as a free action, but only once per round.
Improved Parry: At 19th level you no longer suffer a –5 penalty to your opposed attack roll when you parry (see above).
Armor Mastery (Ex): At 20th level, a gladiator gains DR 5/— whenever he is wearing armor or using a shield.
Hit Die: d12.
Class Skills: The gladiator’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis).
Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.
|1||+1||+2||+2||+0||Gladatorial performance; Mercy; Exotic weapon|
|2||+2||+3||+3||+0||Arena Guile; Improved unarmed strike|
|3||+3||+3||+3||+1||Taunt; Improved feint|
|4||+4||+4||+4||+1||Uncanny dodge; Exotic weapon|
|5||+5||+4||+4||+1||Armor training 1|
|6||+6/+1||+5||+5||+2||Shake Off; bonus feat|
|8||+8/+3||+6||+6||+2||Improved uncanny dodge; Exotic weapon|
|9||+9/+4||+6||+6||+3||Trick; Armor training 2|
|12||+12/+7/+2||+8||+8||+4||Chant; Exotic weapon|
|13||+13/+8/+3||+8||+8||+4||Armor training 3|
|15||+15/+10/+5||+9||+9||+5||Threatening Glare; Superior feint|
|17||+17/+12/+7/+2||+10||+10||+5||Armor training 4|
|18||+18/+13/+8/+3||+11||+11||+6||Dragon's Fury; bonus feat|
|20||+20/+15/+10/+5||+12||+12||+6||Armor mastery; bonus feat|