Eclipse: The Bulwark Level One Build

   Our next Eclipse Classless d20 (available in print HERE and in a shareware version HERE) character is the Bulwark – a character who leans more towards the MMORPG style of play than usual.

   The Bulwark is a knightly guardian, with the ability to force opponents to either take penalties or focus on him or her rather than the rest of the group, a variety of combat enhancements which can penalize or restrict opponents, and the ability to heal or temporarily enhance his or her allies during a fight. Unfortunately, the Bulwark is hopelessly out of place in any non-combat situation and – to pay for all those special abilities and weapons proficiencies – has had to virtually ignore everything else.

   The Bulwark is a high-efficiency design, and as such, is definitely  overpowered unless everyone is using high-efficiency designs (and the game master is ready for that). Still, it was a request.

   Disadvantages: (Select three for 10 CP), and add

   Duties (to a feudal overlord, school, deity, faith, or whatever, +2 CP/Level).

   Total available character points: 48 (Level One Base) + 10 (Disadvantages) +2 (Duties) + 6 (Level One Bonus Feat) = 66, 18 of which (from disadvantages, duties, and the bonus Feat) may be spent outside of the Adventurer framework restrictions.

   Basic Attributes: Str 14, Int 10, Wis 10, Con 14, Dex 14, Chr 14 (28 point buy).

   Basic Purchases (30 CP)

  • Proficient with Proficient with All Simple and Martial Weapons (9 CP) and Light Armor (3 CP). The character will probably want to add armor proficiencies as quickly as possible – immediately if he or she can come up with any more character points from somewhere or feels like something else can wait until later.
  • +2 Skill Points (2 CP)
  • +2 on Fortitude Saves (6 CP)
  • d10 Hit Die (6 CP). Base Hit Points 10 + 2 (Con) + 16 (Immortal Vigor) = 28
  • Initial BAB +1 BAB (Corrupted: Does not add to iterative attacks (4 CP)

   Special Abilities (36 CP):

  • Grant of Aid with Bonus Uses (Specialized in HP only, Corrupted not more than twice per encounter, double effect, two thirds cost; 2d8+10 Points (may want to go to full cost – another 4 CP – and triple effect later on) (8 CP).
  • Luck with Bonus Uses Specialized in Saving Throws, Corrupted not more than twice per encounter (4 CP)
  • Blessing, affects up to (Cha Mod +1) nearby targets: Specialized and Corrupted/once per encounter per power loaned out, only lasts for a single round when activated (4 CP). For example, you can bestow a use of your Grant of Aid on your companions, or Luck for a given (and usually area-effect) saving throw, or the effects of an Innate Enchantment. This only requires an action if the base power being loaned out does so.
  • Presence: Enemies who start the turn within a 10 foot radius of the user will suffer a -2 Morale Penalty to Attacks, Damage, and Checks. Specialized/this only applies if they attack anyone else or use an area effect attack that does not include you. Corrupted: if someone else uses a similar compulsion or power against an affected creature, it will counteract yours (2 CP).
  • Opportunist: May unleash a spell against any target currently affected by your Presence power that launches an attack that doesn’t have you as one of the targets. Specialized in Magic Missile, Corrupted so that it only works on the first such attack it launches while still affected by your Presence aura (2 CP).
    • Use this to automatically smack any opponent who refuses to engage you for 1d4+1 damage.
  • Innate Enchantment: All abilities Level One, Caster Level One, and Unlimited Use Activated, with other modifiers as noted. Specialized/only functions while the Bulwark remains a faithful guardian of his or her people and a servant of his or her faith, half cost (11,000 GP Value, 6 CP).
    • Immortal Vigor I (Normally Personal Only, 1400 GP): Adds (12 + 2x Con Mod) HP, adds (2d6+2x Con Mod) HP and lasts ten minutes if used as a blessing.
    • Magic Missile (Only affects targets affected by Presence, can only be used as part of the Opportunist action, x.5, Rapid Casting, x2, 2000 GP).
    • Shield (2000 GP): +4 Shield Bonus to AC, lasts one minute if used as a blessing.
    • Weapon Infusion*/Drain (1400 GP): the weapon does 1d4 points of extra damage to a living target, the weapon-wielder gains those hit points as temporary hit points. This does not work against constructs and – if used against undead – exposes the weapon-wielder to that creatures touch attack, if any.
    • Weapon Infusion*/Staggering (1400 GP): The weapon will strike with a massive impact, the creature hit will suffer a -2 modifier on it’s attacks for the next three rounds.
    • Weapon Infusion*/Ripping (1400 GP): The weapon literally tears at the creature hit, doing +4 simple physical damage; this does not bypass any form of DR that the weapon normally wouldn’t.
    • Weapon Infusion*/Battering (1400 GP): The weapon strikes like a battering ram, a hit from it will drive a target back one five foot step. If it was moving past the user, this will stop it.
    • Weapon Infusion*/Adamant (1400 GP): The weapon becomes as hard as adamant, and has the same effects.
      • This actually leaves 600 GP Value left over, but that’s reserved for future advancement.
      • Getting all of these Innate Enchantments up and running is going to cost a fair chunk of XP – 832 points – which means that these powers are only going to become available gradually after a little bit of adventuring.
  • Augment Attack/Entangling Maneuver: The Bulwark knows how to get multiple opponents tangled up with each other. +2 to Attack when adjacent to multiple opponents, Specialized: in melee combat only, effective bonus limited to (number of current opponents adjacent to the user -1) (3 CP).
  • Doubled Damage when taking a full-round action to make a single melee attack, Specialized/only usable once per encounter (3 CP).
  • Inherent Spell, Corrupted/Requires a full-round action and a drawn weapon to use as a focus (4 CP). The Bulwark can invoke one third-level spell per day. It’s usually one that either allows him or her to make an immediate melee attack with some special modifiers (triple damage at range, double damage with a +20 Insight bonus to hit, double damage converted to Sacred damage, etc) or a single-target blast which causes a modest amount of damage whether or not the save succeeds and inflicts some short term penalty (dazed for a couple of rounds, reduced AC, target takes 1d8 damage whenever it attacks someone for the next four rounds, targets movement is greatly slowed) if it fails.

   Further advancement will obviously involve more combat abilities – large hit dice, saves, BAB, and special combat abilities – and will usually involve more uses of Grant of Aid and upgrading it to triple effect, and a selection of other Inherent Spells and ways to assist his or her friends.

   Obviously enough, the Bulwark is a 4’th edition style character – at will, per-encounter, and once-per-day abilities, high hit points, no iterative attacks, and self-healing – but is, in fact, a good deal more versatile: unlike fourth edition, most of the Bulwark’s powers are modular: any attack he or she makes can involve a weapon infusion of choice, Grant of Aid isn’t even an action, so it can come into play at any time, and so on. Personally, I’d still recommend adding a lot of non-combat stuff.

   *Weapon Infusion spells alter the properties of an existing weapon for three rounds. They will stack with normal weapon enchantments, but not with each other, and bypass saves and spell resistance since they’re affecting the weapon, not the creature struck. On the other hand, their effects are relatively weak. Given this, the Bulwark will have to pick one of the effects to use each round.


3 Responses

  1. Very nice! I did a conversion of my 4E fighter to some sort of success….

  2. […] The Bulwark : a MMORPG – or 4′th Edition D&D – style tank/controller. […]

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