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The Fight in the Forest, pen and black ink on laid paper 1500/1503 National Gallery of Art, Washington, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund Hans Burgkmair I The Fight in the Forest, pen and black ink on laid paper 1500/1503 National Gallery of Art, Washington, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund Hans Burgkmair I

The Quintessential Barbarian
Author Robert Schwalb
Series Quintessential Series
Publisher Mongoose Publishing
Publish date 2003
OGL Section 15 qbbn
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Some barbarians grow so accustomed to killing they begin to lose facets of their personality. They gradually lose a sense of self, lapsing into a rage so often it subsumes their psyche. They become machines whose sole purpose is to kill. If ignored, they begin down the path of devolution, essentially losing the qualities defining a race, journeying back towards some common ancestor. These brutish hulks physically transform into a more bestial version of their former selves. Humans sprout hair, grow shorter and more muscular and have a more pronounced jutting brow. Elves grow taller, their features more exaggerated. Dwarves grow in height, becoming malformed and unrecognisable. Regardless of race, the devolutionary becomes a throwback, gradually losing the ability to converse, manipulate tools and so on, all in the pursuit of becoming the ultimate fighting machine.

Devolutionary Non-Player Characters are always in some transitional phase to total devolution. They have no concept of right or wrong and simply follow their instincts, taking what they desire, destroying what they hate. When encountered, a devolutionary will often be in the company of advanced dire apes, leading his pack to destroy anything they encounter.

Hit Die: d12


To qualify to become a devolutionary, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Alignment: chaotic neutral
Base Attack Bonus: +8
Skills: Climb 6 ranks, Intimidate 10 ranks, Jump 6 ranks, Listen 6 ranks, Spot 4 ranks
Feats: Alertness, Aspect of the Beast, Power Attack, Cleave
Class Feature: Ability to rage

Class Skills

The devolutionary has no class skills. The devolutionary is an exception to the rule that characters always gain skill points. If the devolutionary has a negative Intelligence modifier, the character receives no skill points.
Skill points at each level: 0 + Intelligence modifier.

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1 +1 +2 +2 +2 Bonus Rage, Scent, Devolve I
2 +2 +3 +3 +3 Bonus Rage, Ferocity, Devolve II
3 +3 +3 +3 +3 Bonus Rage, Claws, Supreme Climber, Devolve III
4 +4 +4 +4 +4 Bonus Rage, Bite, Pounce, Devolve IV
5 +5 +5 +5 +5 Forever Enraged, Beast, Devolve V

Class Features

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

Weapon and Armour Proficiency: The devolutionary gains no new proficiency in weapons or armour. Note that armour check penalties for armour heavier than leather apply to the skills Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently and Tumble.

Bonus Rage: The devolutionary finds he is most comfortable in his natural state of anger. From 1st through 4th levels, the devolutionary gains a bonus barbarian Rage stacking with the number he normally receives. For example, an 8th level barbarian may normally rage 3 times per day. Upon assuming the first level gained in devolutionary, the barbarian may now rage 4 times per day. SRD fully discusses the rage ability.

Scent (Ex): The barbarian, by taking the first level in this class, is becoming something less than human. The first stage of his change is his gain of the Scent ability. The barbarian gains the Scent ability at 1st level.

Devolve I (Su): The devolutionary loses aspects of his personality, memory and intellect as he devolves. At 1st level, the devolutionary suffers a -2 enhancement penalty to Intelligence and Charisma with a minimum possible score of 3 in each ability. This loss reflects the deterioration of his personality and growing inability to solve problems and think logically.

Ferocity (Ex): The devolutionary is relentless in combat and will continue to fight without penalty even when disabled or dying.

Devolve II (Su): At 2nd level, the devolutionary further degrades and loses the ability to read and write, even if the character has devoted skill points to overcome the barbarian’s inherent Illiteracy. Furthermore, the devolutionary loses access to all languages except for his native tongue as he continues to withdraw into himself.

Claws (Ex): Nails having hardened into claws, the devolutionary may now make unarmed attacks as if he had the Improved Unarmed Strike feat. In addition, his unarmed attacks inflict 1d6 damage with each successful strike.

Supreme Climber (Ex): The devolutionary has to rely on his physical prowess to overcome his intellectual failings. Thus, at 3rd level, the devolutionary gains a +8 competence bonus to all Climb checks.

Devolve III (Su): More animal than humanoid, the devolutionary loses the ability to use any trained only Intelligence-based skills even if he had previously devoted skill points to these skills. In addition, the enhancement penalty to his Intelligence increases to -4 with a minimum possible score of 3.

Bite (Ex): The devolutionary’s teeth extend into fangs, thereby granting him an additional attack at a -5 penalty. The Multiattack feat reduces the penalty for fighting with natural attacks to -2. The devolutionary’s bite attack may not be made in conjunction with armed melee attacks. It is usable only in natural attack routines.

Pounce (Ex): If the devolutionary leaps upon a foe during the first round of combat, he can make a full attack even if he has already taken a move action.

Devolve IV (Su): The devolutionary’s metamorphosis is almost complete by this stage. When he has transformed to this state, he loses proficiency in all Martial Weapons and all armour. In addition, the enhancement penalty to Intelligence increases to -6 with a minimum possible score of 3. He does, however, gain a natural armour bonus equal to his Constitution modifier.

Forever Enraged (Su): At 5th level, the devolutionary is considered permanently enraged. The number of times he could otherwise rage are now times he may exit out of his rage for the standard duration described in the SRD.

Beast: The devolutionary’s transformation is fully complete and his subtype is forever changed to magical beast instead of humanoid. He gains Low-Light Vision and Darkvision with a range of 60 feet. As a beast, he is no longer subject to spells targeting humanoids, although he is subject to spells targeting beasts.

Devolve V (Su): At 5th level, the devolutionary has fully transformed into a monster. He loses the capability of speech and the enhancement penalty increases to -8, with a minimum possible score of 3.


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