The Battlesmith

March 18th, 2013

Joel Migas

Best in Class Archive

            Greetings, and welcome to this week's celebration of hammers and all things bold. There comes a time in everyone's life when they want to just smash everything around them, to destroy that which they, or someone else, created. With that fury is also the tempering factor of wanting to create. This is the embodiment of the hammer: a weapon and a tool, a destroyer and a creator. From the tiniest riveting hammer to the greatest sledge, this dichotomy is shared. It is usually the job of the smith to do the creating, while the purpose of a warrior is to destroy, or to protect (usually by destroying). The following class is designed to allow you to act on both sides of this hammer philosophy.



New Fighter Archetype


            The strength of a warrior is meaningless if he wields unsuitable weapons. None know this better than the battlesmith. His purpose is to both outfit an army, and to show them how to wield the works of art he produces. He charges into battle fully armed and armored in equipment of his own making, and proves the might of his work on the battlefield. Great strength is the mark of this class, and indeed is necessary to any fighter, but more so for the battlesmith, who can use it to create better weapons and armor.

            Smith (Ex): Beginning at 3rd level, the battlesmith's practiced hand and technique allows him to force materials into the shape that he wishes. He may use his Strength modifier instead of his Intelligence modifier when making a Craft (armor) or Craft (weapons) check. Additionally, he does not waste any materials on a failed Craft (armor) or Craft (weapons) check.

            This ability replaces armor training 1.

            Hammer Expert (Ex): Beginning at 5th level, the battlesmith gains a +1 bonus to attack rolls when using a hammer. This bonus increases by +1 for every six levels beyond 5th.

            This ability replaces weapon training 1.

            Resolute Charge (Ex): Beginning at 7th level, the battlesmith can charge his foes with such a trained hand that he does not open himself up to counterattack. As long as he is wielding a hammer, the battlesmith does not suffer the normal -2 penalty to AC when he charges, as long as the attack that he makes as part of the charge action is made with the wielded hammer.

            This ability replaces armor training 2.

            Smashing the Competition (Ex): Beginning at 9th level, the battlesmith can focus on destroying a particular object, unleashing his strength to do incredible damage. Whenever the battlesmith uses a hammer to make a melee attack that targets an unattended object, or uses a hammer to make a sunder combat maneuver, he adds half his fighter level to the damage roll (rounded down, minimum 1).

            This ability replaces weapon training 2.

            Breaking the Mold (Ex): Beginning at 11th level, the battlesmith can create armor of a quality much greater than normal, and wear it to full effect. Any masterwork armor he creates has its base AC increased by 1, and its armor check penalty is decreased by an additional -1. If the battlesmith wears masterwork armor that he created himself, he gains an additional +1 insight bonus to AC while wearing it. Furthermore, the weapons that he creates are of similar quality, such that masterwork weapons he creates have an additional +1 enhancement bonus to attack rolls, and if he wields a masterwork hammer of his own creation, he gains a +1 insight bonus to both attack and damage rolls with it.

            This ability replaces armor training 3.

            Heat Treatment (Ex): Beginning at 13th level, the battlesmith forges his weapon to hold some of the primal energies of fire, and unleashes some of that heat whenever he strikes. Any hammer wielded by the battlesmith is treated as if it had the flaming burst weapon special ability. Additionally, he no longer needs a forge to make Craft checks to create or repair weapons or armor, and needs only an anvil on which to strike his materials.

            This ability replaces weapon training 3.

            You Call That Armor? (Ex): Beginning at 15th level, the battlesmith can strike with such force that a creature's armor is meaningless. Once per round, when he makes an attack with a hammer, the battlesmith can choose to make that attack as a touch attack. The battlesmith must declare that he is using this ability before making the attack roll. The battlesmith can use this ability 3 times per day at 15th level, and he can use it an additional time each day at 20th level.

            This ability replaces armor training 4.

            Unstoppable Strikes (Ex): Beginning at 17th level, the battlesmith's hammer finds the weaknesses in armor and magic alike. Any attacks that the battlesmith makes using a hammer bypass an amount of damage reduction equal to his fighter level. This ability does not apply to damage reduction without a type (such as DR 10/—). Additionally, if the hammer that he is wielding would normally bypass the creature’s existing damage reduction, the battlesmith deals an additional 1d6 points of damage with a successful hit. This additional damage only applies if the target has damage reduction that would be overcome, and does not apply to creatures that do not possess damage reduction.

            This ability replaces weapon training 4.

            Ring of the Anvil (Ex): Beginning at 19th level, whenever the battlesmith confirms a critical hit with a hammer, the force of the blow knocks the target back. The target is pushed backwards 5 feet for every 5 points of damage dealt by the attack. If this movement causes the target to enter a square that is already occupied by another creature or by an obstacle that blocks movement (such as a wall), both that target and the creature or object that he hits take 1d6 points of damage for every 10 feet that the target moved before reaching that square, and then the target falls prone in the nearest unoccupied square.

            This ability replaces the armor mastery class feature.

            Weapon Mastery (Ex): Beginning at 20th level, the battlesmith must choose a type of hammer for his weapon mastery class feature.

            This ability modifies the armor mastery class feature.