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Berserker

Berserker
Olav den helliges saga – Kong Olavs fall – H. Egedius” by Halfdan Egedius – Book: Snorre Sturlason – Heimskringla, J.M. Stenersen & Co, 1899.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

The Quintessential Fighter

Author Matthew Sprange

Series The Quintessential Series

Publisher Mongoose Publishing

Publish date 2001

Often confused with the more common barbarian, the berserker is a fighter who is able to achieve a heightened state of mind in close combat. Known to be deadly warriors, berserkers wind themselves up into a lethal fury before battle commences then charge headlong into the enemy, regardless of the consequences, so great is their desire to slay. This fury allows the berserker to fight longer and hit harder than normal, all the while shrugging off the blows of his opponents as if they were inconsequential. There are few that can stand up to the sheer blood-crazed might of a berserker in full attack, and most will simply flee rather than face his terrible anger.

Berserker NPCs can often be found in the less disciplined armies of the world, where their incredible fighting abilities drive a wedge into any enemy force. Regarded by many as complete psychopaths, they are still valued as mercenaries by any leader wishing to completely obliterate his enemy.

Requirements

To qualify to become a berserker, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Base Attack Bonus: +4 or higher
Alignment: any non-lawful
Feats: Cleave, Endurance, Iron Will, Power Attack, Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization

The Berserker
LevelBase AttackFortRefWillSpecial
1+1+2+0+0berserk fury
2+2+3+0+0savage fear
3+3+3+1+1berserk attack
4+4+4+1+1shrug off blow
5+5+4+1+1mindblock

Hit Die: d10.

Class Skills

The berserker’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Strength), Craft (Intelligence), Handle Animal (Charisma), Intimidate (Charisma), Jump (Strength), and Swim (Strength)

Skill points at each level: 2 + Intelligence modifier

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the berserker prestige class.

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: The berserker is proficient in all simple and martial weapons, and all armour.

Berserk Fury: The berserker is able to focus his inner rage at will and channel it into just one purpose killing! The berserker is able to enter a rage once per day by taking a full attack action.

Savage Fear: At 2nd level, the berserker gains the ability to terrify his enemies in combat due to the wildness in his eyes and the power of his blows. Any enemy attacked by the berserker is automatically affected as though by a fear spell. The Will save to avoid this effect is made at DC 10 + the berserker’s class level. Creatures of 5 Hit Dice or more are immune to this effect.

Berserk Attack: On achieving 3rd level, the berserker becomes an absolute whirlwind of fury in close combat. In any round, the berserker may choose to gain an additional free attack at his highest base attack bonus. However, all attacks made in the round will suffer a -5 circumstance penalty to their rolls.

Shrug off Blow: The red mist descends upon the berserker when he is in the midst of battle. At 4th level, the berserker may ignore all damage from any one single source whilst in a berserk fury. He may do this once per day.

Mindblock: At 5th level, the berserker is heedless of any distraction whilst in a fury, single-mindedly concentrating on the slaughter of his enemies. Whilst in a berserk fury, the berserker may add his class level to any save made against mind-affecting spells.

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