March 25, 2016

Path of Iron

Primal Path
Note from the Palm:
"Fire and wind come from the sky. But Crom is your god, Crom, and he lives in the Earth. Once when giants lived in the Earth, Conan.
     And in the darkness of chaos, they fooled Crom, and they took from him the enigma of steel. Crom was angered, and the Earth shook. Fire and wind struck down these giants, and they threw their bodies into the waters, but in their rage, the gods forgot the secret of steel and left it on the battlefield. We who found it are just men. Not gods, not giants; just men. The secret of steel has always carried with it a mystery. You must learn it's riddle, Conan; you must learn it's discipline. For no one...no one in this world can you trust. Not men, not women, not beasts.
     Steel. Steel you can trust."

- Conan's father to Conan, Conan the Barbarian


Additional note: The feat was originally written by Ralnar on the GitP boards. Go check out his stuff!

Path of Iron 

Of all the innovations man has made over the years, one would be hard pressed to find a more significant invention than steel. With the discovery of steel, man gained a nearly unparalleled ability to carve his way into the world around him, and through the beasts and enemies that held him at bay from the darkest reaches of the world. To a barbarian of the Iron, steel isn't just what he shapes into his weapons and his armor, it lies in his very heart and soul.

Iron Frenzy
You excel at fighting in the heaviest armor and while using the heaviest weapons, leaning to use their weight to your advantage. At 3rd level, you gain proficiency in heavy armor, and you may gain the benefits of Rage while wearing heavy armor. Additionally, while raging, once per turn you may deal an additional 1d4 damage with a melee attack from a heavy melee weapon.

Juggernaut
You are an unstoppable force, and no creature can impede you from your chosen path. Starting at 6th level, you may benefit from your Fast Movement bonus speed while wearing heavy armor, and you are considered 1 size category larger for the purposes of shoving and moving through a hostile creature's space. If you move at least 10 feet in a straight line before attempting to move through a hostile creature's space, you do not treat that space as difficult terrain, and you do not provoke an opportunity attack from that creature.
     Starting at 14th level, you are considered 2 size categories larger.

Riddle of Steel
Crafting and metalworking are in your heart, your blood, and your soul. At 10th level, you gain proficiency with smith's tools, and while crafting armor or weapons, you make progress at a rate of 50 gp per day.

Iron Giant
Though massive, your armor and weapons are but tools for your greatness; it is you who is larger than life. Starting at 14th level, while wearing heavy armor and raging, you gain the Enlarge effect of the enlarge/reduce spell, though it is not a magical effect and cannot be dispelled. This effect ends when your rage ends.


New Feat

Brutal Grip
You've learned to use the weight of your weapons effectively, and have adapted to use large weapons one-handed.
  • Increase your Strength score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • When wielding a versatile weapon in one hand, you may use the two-handed damage die.
  • You may wield a two-handed melee weapon in one hand, treating it as a one-handed weapon. You have disadvantage on attack rolls made when wielding a two-weapon this way. 


Art Credit
Dark Souls: Iron Knight Tarkus
by karniz

Changelog: 
3/25/2016: Iron Frenzy: Reduced damage bonus
Riddle of Steel and Juggernaut: swapped levels to be in line with 5e design
Juggernaut: Added Fast Movement retention
Brutal Grip: changed from -2 to disadvantage

25 comments:

  1. Not something I'd like to be stuck with in a tiny room. Definitely going to be a fun thing to play with and throw at my players.

    Side note, spelling error on Iron Frenzy when it says, "leaning to use." I'm assuming this is meant to be 'learning.'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice catch on the typo - I'll be able to fix it later tonight

      Delete
  2. Overall it looks pretty good and fun, but I'm especially in love with Brutal Grip: being able to use the two-handed die with a versatile weapon is a super neat idea that I never would've thought of.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just wait till you give this guy Dual Wielder and then Swing around a pair of greataxes... *laughs menacingly*

      Delete
  3. Heavy Armour + Shield Maximum AC: 20
    Level 20 Vanilla Barbarian Maximum AC: 24

    It seems odd that a Barbarian Archetype focusing on heavy armour will normally have a lower AC than a vanilla Barbarian, if you want to utilize the heavy armour benefits granted by the Archetype.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This isn't as large of a problem as you're thinking it is. Here's my reasoning:

      While it IS true that it is possible for a level 20 Barbarian to have an AC of 24, in practice that is hardly ever likely to happen. to do so, you are required to have both a Con of 20 (which any good barbarian should) and a Dex of 20 (which is generally a sucker's bet for barbarians). Combine this with the fact that their bonus damage mechanic from rage is based entirely around using Str as their damage stat and ou suddenly have three stats that need to be at 20 to both be effective in combat and have a high AC.

      Lets do a build comparison, gunning for the maximum AC in both cases.

      Standard Barbarian
      --------------------
      Assuming standard PHB array, a Stout Halfling Barbarian would start with Dex 17, Con 15, and str 13. Over the course of 20 levels, he dumps 1 1/2 ASIs into Dex, 2 1/2 into Con, and one into str, with final totals (after the capstone stat boost) being Dex 20, Con 24, Str 19. With shield, AC is 24. Damage is 2d8+20 per round while raging with a +10 to hit. No space for feats. he does have either Totem or Berserker powers, which for this character I would build as a Bear totem, giving him resistance to all damage but psychic.

      Path of Iron
      --------------------
      Assuming standard PHB array, a Half-Orc Barbarian would start with Str 16, Con 16, dex 13. Over the course of 20 levels, he dumps 1 ASIs into STR, 2 into Con, and spends the other two on Brutal Grip and Heavy Armor Master. Final totals (after the capstone stat boost) being STR 24, Con 24, Dex 13. With Shield, AC is 20 (from Full Plate + shield), Damage is 2d12+1d8+2d4+26 per round while raging with a +11 to hit by using Brutal Grip to one-hand a greataxe.


      A standard barbarian is certainly more surviveable, but this guy is no slouch AND deals a crap-ton of damage.

      Delete
    2. Oh I absolutely agree this archetype is not underpowered in the slightest. I have always found it odd that Barbarians seem so tanky in d&d, I always imagined them as something closer to the Crusader archetype you have created for Fighters - ignoring pain and damage, but taking a lot.

      Delete
  4. There's a typo in the heading for Brutal Grip... it reads "Brital Grip".

    But otherwise I really like where you're going with this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, that's totally my bad. It'll get a correction later tonight

      Delete
  5. Got a bit confused at the beginning due to the archetype being call "Path of Iron" and then got a pretty cool speech about steel, but otherwise it look really awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I just used the words "steel" and "iron" interchangeably

      Delete
    2. Possibly, we could rename this Path of Steel. I have a druid subclass ready for the next magitech update called Circle of Iron, which focuses on the Ironwood Tree. A rename would gaurentee consistency in the long run

      Delete
    3. I can rename some of the abilities if you want, but I don't particularly like the name Path of Steel. Riddle of steel is a direct reference to Conan anyways, so i should probably take that out.

      Delete
    4. I don't really think Riddle of Steel is that much of an issue, and the name certainly isn't. Go with what you want

      Delete
  6. Some changes made due to external feedback, should be in a pretty good spot now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll make the changes as indicated in the changelog, but I don't think I agree with the change to Brutal Grip. Disadvantage is a huge negative, and probably one a DM would give a player without needing a feat.

      Delete
    2. Well, I know this: I have playtested the first part of brutal grip to death. It's cool, it's fine. It works. I have not done a lot with the other part, because it did not fit the character. That being said, I'm definitely pushing for this to be a barbarian-centric feat, which makes some sense as Reckless Attack easily counters the downside of Brutal Grip.

      I'd recommend more playtesting with both versions (disadvantage and -2) and see how they feel.

      Delete
    3. Not too long ago, I had posted a similar feat in the DMs Guild, which I feel might be more easily balanced and without as much fiddling.

      Oversized Weapon Mastery
      *Prerequisite: Strength 13 or higher*
      You’ve hardened your grip and learned the way to heft and balance typically unwieldy weapons and equipment easily. You gain the following benefits:
      * You may wield a two-handed melee weapon in one hand, or may use a versatile weapon in one hand and use its two handed weapon die for damage. You may only wield one such weapon this way at a time. **If you are a race with the Small size, replace the ability to wield a two-handed melee weapon in one hand with the following benefit instead**: You ignore the Heavy property of weapons.
      * When you throw a weapon as an improvised thrown weapon attack, the damage dealt on a hit is equal to the weapon damage dice of the weapon.

      Delete
  7. Couple things about Juggernaut:

    1. Being one or two size categories larger for the purposes of moving through others creatures' spaces is kind of odd, because while it makes it easier to move through smaller creatures' spaces, it actually makes it harder to move through the spaces of larger creatures, because the rule is that you can move through the space of a hostile creature at least two size categories smaller OR larger than you. So a basic human could move through a Huge creature's space, but a 6th level human Path of Iron barbarian actually couldn't, the creature would need to be Gargantuan. Then at 14th level the barbarian wouldn't be able to move through the space of any creature larger than him, because there is no size above Gargantuan. It sounds like what you want is more along the lines of "...you are considered 1 size category larger for the purposes of shoving and moving through a hostile creature's space when doing so would be beneficial to you."

    2. Entering a creature's space already does not provoke an opportunity attack, making that part of the ability redundant.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey does this mean that if you have the brutal grip feat as well as the duel wielder feat, does this mean you can duel wield two handed weapons that are heavy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it does. Yes, that is intended. Yes, i too want to have a barbarian that dual-wields greataxes.

      Delete
  9. With the release of Unearthed Arcana: Feats, (namely that the proffession kit feats give expertise if you have it already), do you think that the 10th level feature could give expertise if you already have smith's tools profficiency?

    ReplyDelete
  10. For clarification on Brutal Grip, if you're wielding a versatile weapon in one hand to use the 2h damage die, would your rolls be normal or disadvantage? The wording to me sounds like the attack rolls would still be normal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Attack rolls would still be normal. You only have disadvantage if you couldn't use the weapon one-handed at all normally.

      Delete