Dark Marshal

To Prestige Classes

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(Henryk Siemiradzki (1843-1902). Svyatoslav's Warriors in the Battle of Silistria.

(Henryk Siemiradzki (1843-1902). Svyatoslav's Warriors in the Battle of Silistria.

The Gates of Hell (Dice Freaks)

Grimoire of Cosmic Entities Volume One By Eli Atkinson, William Church and Serge W. Desir, Jr.
Original Concept by Serge W. Desir, Jr.

Full netbook can be found on the following website

Dicefreaks d20 Community

Many of the great captains are lauded for their eloquence and their ability to stir the men that follow them to fight in the name of some ideal. Such captains manage to take the iron of discipline and the soft gold of malleability and creativity to forge fighting units always one step ahead of the enemy. Battles are won and lost over a single man’s ability to rally the troops, for the field is rarely won by means of attrition.

To many, the greatest of captains are those who are willing to pay whatever price is necessary to win the day, twisting honor and the rules of warfare to meet their needs. Such a leader is the dark marshal of Bael, accounted by all as a foe to fear. A dark marshal will com-mit all sorts of despicable acts to humiliate his enemies and to inspire his allies, though he does not do so out of any love of such acts. To the dark marshal, it is merely a part of his duty and responsibility to drive his troops to fight at their best. Victory on the field of battle vindicates the means of achieving the victory, according to the code that the dark marshal follows. It is of no surprise to note that individual dark marshals are among the most brilliant and effective battle leaders to be found.

Dark marshals tend to come from the ranks of fighters more often than not, with others having first trod the path of ranger, monk, or fallen paladin and blackguard. Rogues and clerics can make effective dark marshals, but bards and barbarians lack the necessary discipline. Wizards and sorcerers only rarely give up their study and development of The Word to follow this path.

It is rare to find more than one dark marshal working directly with another, for they tend to seek their own commands. Dark marshals can be found as great champions to despots, tyrannical warlords, or cold-hearted generals dedicated to a corrupt empire. Those who adventure do so in order to hone their skills or to support some fundamentally evil concept. NPC dark marshals are almost always found leading a military unit, whether that be their own army, a mercenary company, or a band of likeminded NPCs.

Hit Die: d10
Requirements
To qualify to become a dark marshal , a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Base Attack Bonus: +9
Skills: Diplomacy 3 ranks, Intimidate 9 ranks, Knowledge (history) 3 ranks, Knowledge (the planes) 6 ranks
Feats: Devotee of Darkness (Bael), Leadership, Vile Martial Strike or Vile Natural Strike
Special: Dark marshals of Bael must be proficient with heavy armors and martial weapons. Dark marshals of Bael must have made peaceful contact with a greater devil (at least CR 15). The devil then instructs the would-be dark marshal on the process to submit to the will of Bael, the Lord of the First.

Class Skills

The dark marshal of Bael's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are: Bluff (Charisma), Diplomacy (Charisma), Handle Animal (Charisma), Intimidate (Charisma), Knowledge (architecture and engineering) (Intelligence), Knowledge (history) (Intelligence), Knowledge (local) (Intelligence), Knowledge (nobility and royalty) (Intelligence), Profession (Wisdom), Ride (Dexterity), Sense Motive (Wisdom), Spot (Wisdom), Survival (Wisdom).

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Intelligence modifier.

The Dark Marshal of Bael
Class Level Base Attack Bonus Fort/Save Ref/Save Will Save Special
1 +1 +2 +0/ +0 Dark Smite 1/day
2 +2 +3 +0/ +0 Infernal Rally
3 +3 +3 +1/ +1 Warcry 1/day
4 +4 +4 +1/ +1 Blood Oath
5 +5 +4 +1/ +1 Dark Smite 2/day
6 +6 +5 +2/ +2 Warcry 2/day
7 +7 +5 +2/ +2 Improved Blood Oath
8 +8 +6 +2/ +2 Greater Warcry
9 +9 +6 +3/ +3 Warcry 3/day; Dark Smite 3/day
10 +10 +7 +3/ +3 Greater Blood Oath

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the dark marshal prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Dark marshals gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

Dark Smite (Ex): A 1 st level Dark marshal can make a Dark Smite 1/day, adding his Charisma modifier (minimum +1) to his attack, and his class level to damage as vile damage. A Dark smite can be used simultaneously with other types of smite attacks, with attack bonuses overlapping and damage bonuses stacking. Dark Smite works on any creature (unless said creature is not affected by Vile damage). In the event that a creature is unaffected by Dark Smite or the dark marshal fails to hit, that use of the attack is used up for the day. A dark marshal gains one additional use of Dark Smite per day at 5th level, and another at 9th level.

Infernal Rally (Su): A 2 nd level dark marshal can rally the morale of his troops through the use of eloquence coupled with humiliation and violence. This can be done a number of times per day equal to his class level. If the dark marshal gives a stirring speech to his troops (requiring at least three rounds), he grants them a +1 morale bonus to attacks, and 1d8 temporary hit points. If, at the same time as he delivers the speech, the dark marshal performs an act of defiance against the enemy (kills an enemy prisoner, urinates on their standard, sets an enemy village alight, etc), he increases the morale bonus to attacks according to the table below. Furthermore, the morale bonus is also applied to any one of the following (dark marshal’s choice): Fortitude saves, Will saves, armor class, or damage.

Effects of Infernal Rally

Method of Intimidation

Morale Bonus
Enemy Hurt +1 bonus for every 9 Hit Dice
Enemy maimed +1 bonus for every 6 Hit Dice
Enemy killed +1 bonus for every 3 Hit Dice
Desecrate emblem or edifice of enemy Varies by importance, but between +1 and +3

The speech can last longer than three rounds if desired; for each round longer than three rounds, the effects of the rally can be delayed for a round. If, for example, a dark marshal speaks stirringly to his troops for 30 minutes (in addition to the initial three rounds) before a battle, the effects of the rally could be delayed for up to 30 minutes, and then activated once battle was enjoined (generally as a shout - a free action).

A dark marshal can attempt more than one insulting feat against his foes, but only the best result of either hurting, maiming or killing counts, and only one desecration counts. Thus some sort of harm to an enemy and the desecration of an enemy’s standard stack, but only when used during the same speech (e.g. kill an enemy prisoner for +1 bonus, then burn the Holy symbol of the enemy’s god to bring the total up to a +2 bonus). An Infernal Rally cannot bestow greater than +3 morale bonus, and the bonus lasts for 3 rounds plus one round per class level once activated. An Infernal Rally ends prematurely if the dark marshal flees the field of battle, or is killed. This is a mind-influencing effect. lemures and nupperibos benefit from Infernal Rally. The dark marshal is not entitled to the benefits of an Infernal Rally himself.

Warcry (Ex): A 3rd level dark marshal can utter a Warcry 1/day as a free action. All troops within 30 feet under his command (and including the dark marshal) are affected as if by a rage spell, gaining a +2 morale bonus to Strength and Constitution, and a +1 morale bonus on Will saves. The effects of the Warcry last for 3 rounds plus the dark marshal’s Charisma modifier. At 6th level, the dark marshal can use a Warcry 2/day, and at 9 th level this increases to 3/day. This is a mind-influencing effect that can also affect the dark marshal. lemures and nupperibos benefit from Warcry.

A Warcry can be used to activate the effects of an Infernal Rally. The bonuses stack.

Blood Oath (Su): A 5th level dark marshal is able to make a Blood Oath against an enemy that he has met in battle. As a full round action, he wounds himself while making the Oath, taking Constitution damage of up to his class level. Thereafter, he gains a morale bonus to attacks, damage, armor class, and saves against the individual whom he has sworn to defeat, equal to the amount
of Constitution damage that he took. A dark marshal can only have one Blood Oath at a time. He cannot end the Oath without fulfilling it. He cannot heal the Constitution damage until such time as the Oath is fulfilled. Once a Blood Oath is fulfilled, he must wait 24 hours before making a new Oath.

Improved Blood Oath (Su): At 7th level, a dark marshal’s Blood Oath becomes an Improved Blood Oath. He is still only able to have one Oath in effect at any one time, but the bonus granted for his sacrifice is equal to twice the Constitution damage taken. Furthermore, he can automatically sense the focus of his Oath when within 90 feet as if by using Blindsense.

Greater Warcry (Ex): An 8th level dark marshal’s Warcry stirs his allies to even greater feats of might. All allies within 30 feet gain a +4 morale bonus to Strength and Constitution, and a +2 morale bonus on Will saves. Greater Warcry otherwise functions as per the Warcry ability.

Greater Blood Oath (Su): At 10 th level, a dark mar-shal’s Blood Oath becomes a Greater Blood Oath. He is still only able to have one Oath in effect at any one time, but the bonus granted for his sacrifice is now equal to three times the Constitution damage taken at the time of making the Oath. By concentrating for three rounds, the dark marshal can sense which direction his foe can be
found in. Distance is irrelevant, but the ability does not work across planes.

Example Dark Marshal of Bael

Markgraf Ernst I. von Baden-Durlach

Markgraf Ernst I. von Baden-Durlach

Captain Gurdrin "Falconbrand" Highthorn
fighter 9, Dark Marshal of Bael 2
Medium Humanoid (Sapien)
Hit Dice 11d10+22 (87 hp)
Initiative +0 (+0 Dexterity)
Speed 20 ft. (4 squares) in +2 adamantine fullplate; base 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class 20 (+10 armor), touch 10, flat-footed 20
Base Attack/Grapple +11/+16
Attack +2 adamantine greatsword +19 melee (2d6+11 plus 1 vile/17-20)
Full Attack +2 adamantine greatsword +19/+14/+9 melee (2d6+11 plus 1 vile/17-20)
Space/Reach 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks Dark smite 1/day
Special Qualities Damage reduction 3/--, infernal rally
Saves Fort +11, Ref +3, Will +3
Abilities Strength 20, Dexterity 10, Constitution 14, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 10, Charisma 18
Skills Diplomacy +9, Intimidate +16, Knowledge (history) +4, Knowledge (nobility and royalty) +6, Knowledge (the planes) +6, Speak Language (Infernal)
Feats Combat Expertise, Cleave, Devotee of Darkness (Bael), Improved critical (greatsword), Improved Sunder, Leadership (15), Power Attack, Vile Martial Strike (greatsword), Weapon Focus (greatsword), Weapon Specialization (greatsword)
Environment Any land or underground
Organization Solitary (unique)
Challenge Rating 11
Treasure 1986 gp, +2 adamantine fullplate, +2 adamantine greatsword, belt pouch (with 175 sp), brooch of shielding, cloak of charisma +2, explorer's outfit, gauntlets of ogre power, trail rations (x5), waterskin
Alignment Lawful evil

Captain Gurdrin "Falconbrand" Highthorn is the retainer of an old baron who has been struggling in a blood-feud with a nearby count. Gurdrin has attracted the attention of the aged baron in recent years and has encouraged him to continue the blood feud despite overtures from the count to the contrary. He has recently become the captain of the guard and is using his Charisma to build an inner sanctum among his men. He's charming, handsome, incredibly strong, and a feared and respected leader. He's also cruel, bloodthirsty, and dedicated to seeing his people destroy the forces of the count.

No one knows that he's evil and that he's sold his soul to Bael in order to achieve victory for his barony once his liege dies.

Gurdrin speaks Common and Infernal.

Dark Smite (Ex): 1/day, Gurdrin can make a dark smite, adding +4 to his attack and dealing 2 extra points of vile damage. In the event that a creature is unaffected by vile damage, or Gurdrin fails to hit, that use of the attack is still used up for the day.

Devotee of Darkness: Once per day, Gurdrin can call upon the aid of Bael, granting him a +3 profane bonus to any one roll. Once per day, Gurdrin can gain a +2 profane bonus on saving throws against a spell with the chaotic or good descriptor.

Whenever dealing with a higher-ranking servant of Bael (or the Warlord of Avernus himself), Gurdrin takes a -2 penalty on any attacks, checks, and other rolls and a -6 penalty on saving throws.

Infernal Rally (Su): 2/day, Gurdrin can rally the morale of his troops through the use of eloquence coupled with humiliation and violence. If he gives a stirring speech to his troops (requiring at least three rounds), he grants them a +1 morale bonus to attacks and 1d8 temporary hit points. If he performs an act of defiance against the enemy while delivering his speech, he increases to bonus to attacks (see table "Effects of Infernal Rally"). Furthermore, the morale bonus is also applied to one of the following (Gurdrin's choice): Fortitude saves, Will saves, armor class, or damage rolls. If Gurdrin's speech lasts longer than three rounds, the effects of the rally can be delayed by the same amount of time. The rally cannot bestow a morale bonus greater than +3. The rally's effects last for 5 rounds once activated, but end prematurely if Gurdrin flees the field or is killed. This is a mind-influencing effect. lemures and nupperibos can benefit from the infernal rally. Gurdrin himself does not gain the bonuses.

Epic Dark Marshal of Bael

The epic dark marshal of Bael stands among the greatest of the Lord of the First’s servants, able to inspire his troops to the extent that he wins the field even when the odds are ten-to-one or worse against him. The epic dark marshal should focus on improving his Leadership abilities with feats such as Epic Leadership and Legendary Commander. Augment your warcry with Epic Warcry, Intimidating Warcry and Voice from the Depths. Further inspire your troops with Blood Oath Rally, Rally of Renown and March of the Immortals. Finally, terrorize your foes with Baneful Oath, Dread Oath and Rise No More.

Increasing Constitution is a good move as you increase in levels, as this will increase the power of your Blood Oath. Charisma is just as important, though, as your leadership hinges on this ability.

Hit Die: d10.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Intelligence modifier.

Class Features

Dark Smite: At 13th level, and every 4 levels thereafter, the epic dark marshal can use dark smite one additional time per day.
Infernal Rally: The dark marshal's infernal rally lasts a number of rounds equal to 3 plus his class level as usual.
Warcry: At 12th level, and every 3 levels thereafter, the epic dark marshal can use warcry one additional time per day.
Blood Oath: The dark marshal cannot deal more than his class level in Constitution damage when making a blood oath, as per usual.
Bonus Feats: The epic dark marshal of Bael gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic dark marshal bonus feats) every four levels beyond 10th.

Epic Dark Marshal Bonus Feat List: Armor Skin, Baneful Oath, Blood Oath Rally, Damage Reduction, Devastating Critical, Dire Charge, Dread Oath, Epic Leadership, Epic Prowess, Epic Reputation, Epic Toughness, Epic Warcry, Epic Weapon Focus, Fateful Blood Oath, Great Charisma, Great Smiting, Intimidating Warcry, Legendary Commander, Legendary Rider, March of the Immortals, Overwhelming Critical, Penetrate Damage Reduction, Rally of Renown, Rise No More, Superior Initiative, Unholy Strike*, Voice from the Depths.

*The dark marshal's Dark Smite ability can be treated as Smite Good for the purposes of qualifying for this feat.

The Epic Dark Marshal

Class Level

Special
11  
12 Warcry 4/day
13 Dark Smite 4/day
14 Bonus Feat
15 Warcry 5/day
16  
17 Dark Smite 5/day
18 Warcry 6/day, Bonus Feat
19  
20  

Example Epic Dark Marshal of Bael

1896 Alfred-Pierre Agache, The_Sword (L'Épee). Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada Notice the legend "PRO IUSTITIA TANTUM" "on Behalf of Justice Only", Meaning that the sword (violence) should be used only by Justice

1896 Alfred-Pierre Agache, The_Sword (L'Épee). Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada Notice the legend "PRO IUSTITIA TANTUM" "on Behalf of Justice Only", Meaning that the sword (violence) should be used only by Justice

Captain Gurdrin "Falconbrand" Highthorn
fighter 10, Dark Marshal of Bael 11
Medium Humanoid (Sapien)
Hit Dice 21d10+147 (267 hp)
Initiative +0 (+0 Dexterity)
Speed 20 ft. (4 squares) in +5 moderate fortification adamantine fullplate; base 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class 27 (+13 armor, +4 deflection), touch 14, flat-footed 27
Base Attack/Grapple +21/+30
Attack +5 unholy adamantine greatsword +37 melee (2d6+22 plus 2d6 unholy plus 1 vile/17-20)
Full Attack +5 unholy adamantine greatsword +37/+32/+27/+22 melee (2d6+22 plus 2d6 unholy plus 1 vile/17-20)
Space/Reach 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks Dark smite 3/day, greater warcry 3/day
Special Qualities Damage reduction 3/--, greater blood oath, infernal rally
Saves Fort +21, Ref +6, Will +12
Abilities Strength 29, Dexterity 10, Constitution 24, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 10, Charisma 22
Skills Bluff +12, Diplomacy +15, Disguise +8 (+10 when acting in character), Intimidate +20, Knowledge (history) +9, Knowledge (nobility and royalty) +8, Knowledge (the planes) +10, Ride +6, Sense Motive +9, Speak Language (Infernal), Spot +7, Survival +7 (+9 on other planes)
Feats Combat Expertise, Cleave, Devotee of Darkness (Bael), Epic Will, Greater Weapon Focus (greatsword), greater weapon specialization (greatsword), Improved Combat Expertise, Improved critical (greatsword), Improved Sunder, Iron Will, Leadership (28), Power Attack, Vile Martial Strike (greatsword), Weapon Focus (greatsword), Weapon Specialization (greatsword)
Environment Any land or underground
Organization Solitary (unique)
Challenge Rating 21
Treasure 2206 gp, +5 moderate fortification adamantine fullplate, +5 unholy adamantine greatsword, Amulet of Health +6, belt pouch (with 175 sp), belt of giant strength +6, cloak of charisma +6, explorer's outfit, gloves of arrow snaring, ring of protection +4, ring of spell turning, trail rations (x5), waterskin, winged boots
Alignment Lawful evil

Gurdrin has received a +2 inherent bonus to his Strength score and a +4 inherent bonus to his Constitution score.

Dark Smite (Ex): 1/day, Gurdrin can make a dark smite, adding +6 to his attack and dealing 11 extra points of vile damage. In the event that a creature is unaffected by vile damage, or Gurdrin fails to hit, that use of the attack is still used up for the day.

Devotee of Darkness: Once per day, Gurdrin can call upon the aid of Bael, granting him a +3 profane bonus to any one roll. Against chaotic or good foes, Gurdrin gains a +1 profane bonus to Armor Class, and once per day can gain a +2 profane bonus on saving throws against a spell with the chaotic or good descriptor. He also gains Spell Resistance 21 against chaotic and good spells and spell-like abilities.

Whenever dealing with a higher-ranking servant of Bael (or the Warlord of Avernus himself), Gurdrin takes a –2 penalty on attacks, checks, and other rolls, a –3 pen-alty to Armor Class, and a -6 penalty to saving throws. In addition, no Spell Resistance Gurdrin obtains is ever ef-fective against such creatures.

Greater Warcry (Ex): 3/day, Gurdrin can utter a warcry as a free action. All troops within 30 feet under his command are affected as if by a rage spell, gaining a +4 morale bonus to Strength and Constitution, and a +2 morale bonus on Will saves. The effects of the warcry last for 9 rounds. This is a mind-influencing effect that can also affect Gurdrin himself. lemures and nupperibos benefit from warcry. A warcry can be used to activate the effects of an infernal rally. The bonuses stack.

Improved Blood Oath (Su): Gurdrin is able to make a blood oath against an enemy that he has met in battle. As a full round action, he wounds himself while making the oath, taking Constitution damage of up to 11 points. Thereafter, he gains a morale bonus to attacks, damage, armor class, and saves against the individual whom he has sworn to defeat, equal to three times the amount of Constitution damage that he took. By concentrating for three rounds, Gurdrin can sense which direction his foe can be found in (distance is irrelevant, but the ability does not work across planes). Gurdrin can automatically sense the focus of his oath when within 90 feet as if by using Blindsense. Gurdrin can only have one blood oath at a time. He cannot end the oath without fulfilling it. He cannot heal the Constitution damage until such time as the oath is fulfilled. Once a blood oath is fulfilled, he must wait 24 hours before making a new oath.

Infernal Rally (Su): 2/day, Gurdrin can rally the mo-rale of his troops through the use of eloquence coupled with humiliation and violence. If he gives a stirring speech to his troops (requiring at least three rounds), he grants them a +1 morale bonus to attacks and 1d8 temporary hit points. If he performs an act of defiance against the enemy while delivering his speech, he increases to bonus to attacks (see table "Effects of Infernal Rally"). Furthermore, the morale bonus is also applied to one of the following (Gurdrin's choice): Fortitude saves, Will saves, armor class, or damage rolls. If Gurdrin's speech lasts longer than three rounds, the effects of the rally can be delayed by the same amount of time. The rally cannot bestow a morale bonus greater than +3. The rally's effects last for 5 rounds once activated, but end prematurely if Gurdrin flees the field or is killed. This is a mind-influencing effect. lemures and nupperibos can benefit from the infernal rally. Gurdrin himself does not gain the bonuses.

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