Bravery Alternatives for the PF1 Fighter

In Pathfinder 1st ed, fighters get the feature “bravery.” It’s not a bad thing, but it’s also not super-exciting. As I looked at doing a PF1 version of Starfinder’s Soldier class, I was considering how I wanted to handle bravery, and looked into what abilities archetypes give to replace it.

And there are… a lot.

I realized I was considering turning the Soldier’s “gear boost” into a more flexible “combat boost” (which might or might not be gear-based), and that all the things fighters can repalce bravery with might make a great starting point for that.

Then I realized a lot of people playing fighters might like to just be bale to pick things to take as alternate class features in place of bravery.

So, I made those. I’ll look at converting Starfinder soldier gear boosts into PF1 combat boosts later.

Alternate Class Features for Bravery (“Combat Boosts”)

Agility (Ex): You gains a +1 bonus on saving throws made against effects that cause you to become paralyzed, slowed, or entangled. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels beyond 2nd.

Ardent (Su): You are difficult to sway from your beliefs. You gain a +1 bonus on Will saves against charm effects. This bonus increases by 1 for every 4 levels beyond 2nd. Once per day, if you are forced to take an action that is diametrically opposed to your alignment, beliefs, or values while under the influence of a charm or compulsion effect (as determined by the player), you can immediately attempt a Will save against the effect’s DC to resist acting out that order. Success does not remove the existing charm or compulsion effect, but does allow you to resist betraying that belief.

Armored Vigor (Ex): As a swift action, you can gain 2 temporary hit points that last for 1 minute. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Constitution modifier (minimum 1 per day), but only while wearing armor. At 6th level and every 4 levels thereafter, the number of temporary hit points the you gain increases by 2.

Bravery (Ex): You gain a +1 bonus on Will saves against fear. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels beyond 2nd.

Buckler Bash (Ex): You can perform a shield bash with a buckler (use the same damage and critical modifier as for a light shield).

Burst Barrier (Ex): You can use a tower shield to screen yourself from burst spells and effects, gaining a +1 bonus on Reflex saves against them while employing a tower shield. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels after 2nd.

Deceptive Strike (Ex): When you are wielding a 1-handed melee weapons, and have a hand free (not holding a weapon, shield, or anything else), you gain a +1 bonus to CMB and CMD on disarm checks and on Bluff checks to feint or create a diversion to hide. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels after 2nd.

Deflective Shield (Ex): You specialize in using your shield to deflect attacks. You gains a +1 bonus to your touch AC, and this bonus increases for every four levels beyond 2nd; however, this bonus cannot exceed the sum of the armor and enhancement bonus to AC provided by the shield you are currently carrying.

Dirty Maneuvers (Ex): You become skilled at deceiving and discomfiting your opponents. You gain a +1 bonus on disarm, dirty trick, and steal combat maneuver checks, and to your CMD against the same maneuvers. These bonuses increase by 1 for every four levels after 2nd.

Duplicitous (Ex): You add Bluff, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth to your list of class skills. You gains 2 bonus skill ranks at each level, which must be allocated among these skills.

Efficient Packer (Ex): You adds a bonus equal to 1/2 your soldier level on Sleight of Hand checks to conceal objects on your body. You also add a bonus equal to 1/2 your class level to your Strength score for the purpose of determining his carrying capacity.

Expertise (Ex): You qualify for feats and other abilities as though you had the Combat Expertise feat. If you are 10th level or higher, you gain Combat Expertise as a bonus feat, even if you would not normally qualify for this feat. If you already have Combat Expertise, you instead gain any one combat feat that includes Combat Expertise as a prerequisite (and for which you otherwise qualify).

Fame (for Performance Combat)(Ex): When you begin a performance combat, you always starts with at least 1 victory point. If you already have victory points, you gain 1 extra victory point. At 10th level, you start out with at least 2 victory points (and if you already have victory points, you gains 2 extra victory points).

Fearful Might (Ex): You gain a +1 bonus on Intimidate checks to demoralize a foe. This bonus increases by 1 for every 4 levels beyond 2nd.

Fearsome (Ex): You can make an Intimidate check to demoralize an opponent as a move action. At 10th level, she can do so as a swift action. At 18th level, she can demoralize a foe as a free action once per round. You can never do so more than once per round.

Guard (Ex): You add Appraise, Knowledge (local), Knowledge (nobility), and Perception, to your list of class skills. You gains 2 bonus skill ranks at each level, which must be allocated among these skills.

Guarded Senses (Su): You gain a +1 bonus on saves against sonic effects, figments, glamers, patterns, gaze attacks, and scent-based attacks. This bonus increases by 1 for every 4 levels beyond 2nd.

Harsh Training (Ex): You gain a +1 bonus on saving throws against effects that cause the exhausted, fatigued, or staggered conditions or temporary penalties to ability scores. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels after 2nd.

Hawkeye (Ex): You gain a +1 bonus on Perception checks, and the range increment for any bow you use increases by 5 feet. These bonuses increase by +1 and 5 additional feet for every 4 levels beyond 2nd.

(Art by Work on Color)

Pole Fighting (Ex): As an immediate action, you can shorten the grip on your spear or polearm with reach and use it against adjacent targets. This action results in a –4 penalty on attack rolls with that weapon until you spend another immediate action to return to the normal grip. The penalty is reduced by –1 for every four levels beyond 2nd.

Reconnaissance Training (Ex): You are trained to operate in heavily trapped or naturally hazardous areas. You gain a +1 bonus on Reflex saving throws to avoid traps, natural hazards, and environmental effects. This bonus increases by 1 for every 4 levels beyond 2nd.

Ruin Raider (Ex): You add Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (dungeoneering), Knowledge (religion), and Use Magic Device, to your list of class skills. You gains 2 bonus skill ranks at each level, which must be allocated among these skills.

Shattering Strike (Ex): When using a 2-handed melee weapon, you gain a +1 bonus to CMB and CMD on sunder attempts and on damage rolls made against objects. These bonuses increase by +1 for every four levels beyond 2nd.

Spark of Life (Ex): You gain a +1 bonus on saving throws made against death effects, energy drains, and necromancy, and to constitution checks to become stable when dying. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels beyond 2nd.

Stand Firm (Ex): When you are wielding a shield, you gain a +1 bonus to CMD against bull rush, drag, overrun, and trip attempts. This bonus also applies on saves against trample attacks. The bonus increases by +1 for every four levels beyond 2nd.

Steadfast Mount (Ex): After you have spent 1 hour practicing with a mount, the mount gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC and a +1 morale bonus on saves while you are mounted on it or adjacent to it. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels after 2nd.

Tactical Awareness (Ex): You gain a +1 bonus on initiative checks. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels after 2nd level.

Tactician (Ex): You gain the cavalier’s tactician class feature, treating your soldier level as your cavalier level for the purposes of this ability.

Tenacious Tracker (Ex): You gain a +1 bonus on Diplomacy checks to gather information and on Survival checks made to identify or follow tracks. This bonus increases by 1 for every 4 levels the vengeful hunter possesses beyond 2nd.

Tidal Celerity (Ex): You gain a +1 bonus on Reflex saves and saving throws against effects that would immobilize or paralyze you. This bonus increases by 1 for every 4 levels beyond 2nd.

Unassailable Allegience (Ex): You gain a +1 bonus on Will saves against compulsion spells, spell-like abilities, and effects. This bonus increases by 1 for every 4 levels beyond 2nd.

Weapon Guard (Ex): You add the bonuses to attack you gain from Weapon Focus (and Greater Weapon Focus and Mythic Weapon Focus), to your CMD against disarm and sunder attempts while wielding the appropriate weapon. This bonus also applies on saves against any effect that targets that weapon (for example, grease, heat metal, shatter, warp wood).

A Request

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About okcstephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the publisher and lead genius of Rogue Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps.

Posted on December 7, 2021, in Game Design, Pathfinder Development and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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