Ashes of Freedom Classes
The classes below comprise the base classes for Ashes of Freedom. No others are permitted without the approval of the DM.
Barbarians in Ashes of Freedom can be Humans or Halforcs from the Norland. Although Volkrania is "civilized", a large number of Norlanders brave the journey across the Dagger Straits to trade and some choose to stay in the south.
There is no bardic tradition in Volkrania. Whilst there are wandering minstrels and the like, the various conflicts have meant that few Volkranians are interested in such pursuits. Bards can be Human or Halforc, but only those of Norlander descent practise the bardic tradition.
Beguilers are found in a number of roles throughout Volkranian society. From wandering "cure-all" sellers to adept negotiators in the diplomatic corps, they are secretive at best, and few belong to any Mages Guild.
Clerics are common in all of Volkrania's cities. Although once the favoured career of younger nobles, the conflicts of recent years have seen a large number of religious conversions and even the more remote villages usually have a lower ranking member of the Church of Pelor (Volkrania's patron deity), while the Norlanders revere Kord.
Taken from Player's Handbook 2
Despite the events of the Night of Betrayal, Duskblades have remained a positive force in Volkrania's culture. They have an established base in Volkraad, where they teach prospective students as well as advising the King. Although they sometimes come into conflict with Mages Guilds, they are generally left to their own devices. Most have dedicated their lives to finding forgotten lore and lost magic items, destroying cursed items where they find them. Humans and Half-elves comprise the bulk of their members, although a few members of other races can be found within their ranks.
When the Mandragora infiltrated Volkrania, many Druids fought what seemed to be a hidden war against the invaders. For centuries they had been insular, taciturn individuals who wanted nothing to do with the outside world. Most died alone and unknown as the Mandragora crept in. Other banded together in what became known as the Conclave of the Winds and fought to repel the attackers with the help of Rangers. Druids, although rare, still exist, but they are usually found in the most remote areas: the high mountains and the deepest forests. They often send their apprentices out into the world to learn something of it.
Of all the classes, Fighter is probably the most common one. Every Volkranian is likely to have had some military training at some point, even if it was just basic training for the village militia. Both men and women are trained enough to defend themselves - swords and spears being the most common weapons. In the rural areas, militia often use bows - in fact, Volkranians are known for being some of the finest bowmen in Erilya.
The concept of a warrior Monk is unknown to many Volkranians. Tales of such individuals are rare, and there are no monasteries that teach the martial arts in Volkrania. There is one believed to exist in Estavania, although it is small in size. Most monks make the long and perilous journey to the Empire of Stars, to learn from the Minotaur Grand Masters there.
With Pelor as the state religion of Volkrania - the Crown prince himself is a Paladin, it's little surprise that a number of Paladins roam the land. Most are found in Volkraad and Taldan, where they launch missions into the Eastlands and beyond. Paladins of other Gods can also be found roaming the land, especially where there have been reports of Undead.
The Purge of Fire, and more notably the Battle for the Shadows exacted a terrible toll on Nature's protectors. Many died alone and outnumbered as the Mandragora infiltrated Volkrania. Those that survived that time are few, but those that did are tougher for it: both mentally and physically. Many bear a great deal of hatred for the Mandragora.
Despite the wars, the life in the shadows has never really changed. There's always someone to steal from, be they human or Mandragora. Most cities have some form of Shadow Government, but there are always those non-guild members looking to make some quick money "off the books".
Valued by members of the military in Taldan and, to a lesser extent, Volkraad, Scouts are a common sight in Merchant caravans too. Scouts are often used as outriders, especially if the journey involves passing through more remote areas such the Eastlands or Farsden Forest.
Many of the best Human Scouts come from Easterling stock, although Norlanders also make good Scouts. Other races also follow this career, including Half-elves.
Any force on the move, whether it’s an army or an adventuring group, needs information about what’s ahead and what’s behind and, more important, time to prepare for battle. A scout can navigate difficult terrain at good speed, and she specializes in seeing her foe before the opponent ever detects her presence. In a dungeon or in the wild, a scout is seen only when she wants to be.
Adventures: Scouts adventure for numerous reasons. Many have a role in a military organization. Whether serving as outriders for a large army or as foresters for a small border fort, these scouts venture into the wilderness under orders. Although more common than other scouts, those attached to the military are unlikely to have the time or permission necessary to undertake regular adventures. Instead, adventuring scouts come from rural villages, having honed their skills over a lifetime of wandering the woods. Others have left their military service behind and find themselves attracted to the adventuring lifestyle. Many adventuring scouts begin their careers as guides hired to lead other adventurers through the wilderness. Those who find the excitement and challenge of adventuring to their taste then seek out a group of their own.
Characteristics: A scout has some training in weapons and a unique combat style that favours fast movement and devastating attacks. She excels in performing during running battles, which allow her to maximize her special fighting techniques and high movement rate. Although a scout can hold her own in a fight, she’s at her best before combat begins, when she can use her powers of stealth and observation to find an enemy and give her companions accurate information about what they face. The scout is a back country expert, exceeding even the ranger’s ability to navigate rough terrain and lead a group of companions through the wilderness. The scout also excels in a dungeon environment, and she can find and disable traps as well as any rogue. As a scout advances in level, her senses become amazingly acute, and she can eventually operate normally even in total darkness.
Alignment: Scouts can be of any alignment, and a scout’s alignment is often shaped more by her personal background than from any training. The notable exceptions to this are the many scouts who receive their training in a military organization—such scouts are carefully and rigorously taught, and are almost always lawful in alignment. Outside of military organizations, more scouts are neutral than any other alignment, but every alignment and philosophy is represented within the class.
Religion: Scouts have varied and individual takes on religion, and no single religion stands out as typical of the class. Scouts occasionally pay homage to deities of nature, but these devotions are more a personal choice on the part of an individual than any outgrowth of their training. Scouts don’t see nature as a force in its own right, and this belief is one of the most profound differences between the scout and the ranger classes. Where the ranger sees nature as something to be revered and protected, the scout sees it as the terrain over which she must do her job. Although a scout might love nature for its beauty or for the solitude she can find within it, she’ll never draw power from nature the way a ranger does.
Background: Many scouts receive military training and serve for a time as outriders for an army. They perfect their techniques while trying to spot and hide from large groups of foes. The crucible of military service turns out tough, independent scouts accustomed to working on their own or in small groups. Such steady individuals make great additions to adventuring parties, and their expertise is often sought by members of other classes.
Other scouts come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some train with foresters and rangers serving a rural lord, and others simply grow up among the common folk of the countryside, spending month after month exploring the wild in their leisure time. Scouts from such diverse backgrounds often take up adventuring to leave their home communities behind. Having exhausted the potential for exploration in their home region, they seek a wider variety of experience and wish to see a broader portion of the world.
Races: Humans make excellent scouts. Their adaptable nature allows them to perfect a wider variety of skills than most other races, and they make good use of the scout’s many abilities. Elves and halflings are the most naturally gifted scouts; both races have produced nimble scouts with amazing abilities of stealth and observation. While halflings have more innate talent for sneaking than elves do, the greater speed of elf scouts gives them advantages of their own.
Dwarves and gnomes make respectable underground scouts, and the scout’s bonuses to speed offset one of these races’ greatest weaknesses. Combined with the dwarf’s knack for operating in areas of earth and stone, scout training can turn dwarves into impressive underground explorers—although most dwarves prefer a more straightforward approach to Combat and dislike the skirmish fighting style of the scout.
Other Classes: Scouts work well with members of almost any other class. Skilled and adaptable, they thrive when they can complement a slower and louder group of adventurers or soldiers. Scouts move ahead of such a group for brief periods, stealthily checking the next room or forest clearing for foes, and then circling back again to ensure that enemies are not sneaking up on the group from behind. When Combat is joined, however, the group remains as a stable base to which a scout can fall back when pressed. Clerics, wizards, and others willing to cast spells that enhance a scout’s mobility or stealth make her job easier, and are welcome companions in Combat as well.
Conversely, a scout also welcomes a group made up entirely of stealthy characters such as rogues, rangers, ninjas, and fellow scouts. This group moves much more quietly than a normal adventuring party, and it is seldom surprised.
Role: A scout plays several roles in most adventuring groups. First and foremost, a scout excels at detecting an enemy or creature before being detected herself. Whether moving well ahead of the group or guarding the rear, a scout is the character most likely to discover a potential threat and be ready to act in combat. Serving as a backup melee combatant or ranged expert in battle, she provides support for the more straightforward fighters in the group and confuses and distracts the enemy. A scout’s stealth and trap-finding ability make her the natural choice for entering and searching dangerous areas.
|Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special|
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+0||Skirmish (+1d6), trapfinding|
|2nd||+1||+0||+3||+0||Battle fortitude +1, uncanny dodge|
|3rd||+2||+1||+3||+1||Fast movement +10 ft., skirmish (+1d6,+1AC), trackless step|
|5th||+3||+1||+4||+1||Evasion, skirmish (+2d6, +1 AC)|
|7th||+5||+2||+5||+2||Skirmish (+2d6,+2 AC)|
|8th||+6/+1||+2||+6||+2||Camouflage, bonus feat|
|9th||+6/+1||+3||+6||+3||Skirmish (+3d6, +2 AC)|
|10th||+7/+2||+3||+7||+3||Blindsense 30 ft.|
|11th||+8/+3||+3||+7||+3||Battle fortitude +2, fast movement +20 ft., skirmish (+3d6, +3 AC)|
|13th||+9/+4||+4||+8||+4||Skirmish (+4d6, +3 AC)|
|14th||+10/+5||+4||+9||+4||Hide in plain sight|
|15th||+11/+6/+1||+5||+9||+5||Skirmish (+4d6, +4 AC)|
|17th||+12/+7/+2||+5||+10||+5||Skirmish (+5d6, +4 AC)|
|19th||+14/+9/+4||+6||+11||+6||Skirmish (+5d6, +5 AC)|
|20th||+15/+10/+5||+6||+12||+6||Battle fortitude +3, blindsense 30 ft., bonus feat|
Game rule information
Scouts have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Dexterity helps scouts become stealthy and overcome their lack of access to heavy armour. Wisdom also is important because it affects many skills, especially Spot and Listen, that most scouts consider vital to their ability to survive in the wild and to detect enemies efficiently.
Alignment: Any. Scouts in military service are usually lawful.
Hit Die: d8. Starting Gold: 5d4×10 GP. Class Skills: A scout’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language (n/a), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), and Use Rope (Dex).
All of the following are class features of the scout.
Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Scouts are proficient with all simple weapons, plus the handaxe, throwing axe, short sword, and shortbow. Scouts are proficient with light armour, but not with shields.
Skirmish (Ex): A scout relies on mobility to deal extra damage and improve her defence. She deals an extra 1d6 points of damage on all attacks she makes during any round in which she moves at least 10 feet. The extra damage applies only to attacks taken during the scout’s turn. This extra damage increases by 1d6 for every four levels gained above 1st (2d6 at 5th, 3d6 at 9th, 4d6 at 13th, and 5d6 at 17th level).
The extra damage only applies against living creatures that have a discernible anatomy. Undead, constructs, oozes, plants, incorporeal creatures, and creatures immune to extra damage from critical hits are not vulnerable to this additional damage. The scout must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. Scouts can apply this extra damage to ranged attacks made while skirmishing, but only if the target is within 30 feet.
At 3rd level, a scout gains a +1 competence bonus to Armour Class during any round in which she moves at least 10 feet. The bonus applies as soon as the scout has moved 10 feet, and lasts until the start of her next turn. This bonus improves by 1 for every four levels gained above 3rd (+2 at 7th, +3 at 11th, +4 at 15th, and +5 at 19th level).
A scout loses this ability when wearing medium or heavy armour or when carrying a medium or heavy load. If she gains the skirmish ability from another class, the bonuses stack.
Trapfinding (Ex): A scout can use the Search skill to locate traps with a DC higher than 20, and she can use Disable Device to bypass a trap or disarm magic traps. See the rogue class feature, page 50 of the Player’s Handbook.
Battle Fortitude (Ex): At 2nd level, a scout gains a +1 competence bonus on Fortitude saves and initiative checks. This bonus increases to +2 at 11th level and +3 at 20th level. A scout loses this bonus when wearing medium or heavy armour or when carrying a medium or heavy load.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a scout cannot be caught flat-footed and reacts to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. See the barbarian class feature, page 26 of the Player’s Handbook.
Fast Movement (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a scout’s gains a +10 foot enhancement bonus to her base land speed. At 11th level, this bonus increases to +20 feet. See the monk class feature, page 41 of the Player’s Handbook. A scout loses this benefit when wearing medium or heavy armour or when carrying a medium or heavy load.
Trackless Step (Ex): Beginning at 3rd level, a scout cannot be tracked in natural surroundings. See the druid class feature, page 36 of the Player’s Handbook.
Bonus Feats: At 4th level and every four levels thereafter (8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th level), a scout gains a bonus feat, which must be selected from the following list: Acrobatic, Agile, Alertness, Athletic, Blind-Fight, Brachiation†, Combat Expertise, Danger Sense†, Dodge, Endurance, Far Shot, Great Fortitude, Hear the Unseen†, Improved Initiative, Improved Swimming†, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Quick Draw, Quick Reconnoitre†, Rapid Reload, Shot on the Run, Skill Focus, Spring Attack, Track. She must meet all the prerequisites for the feat. †New feat described later.
Evasion (Ex): Beginning at 5th level, a scout can avoid damage from certain attacks with a successful Reflex save. See the monk class feature, page 41 of the Player’s Handbook.
Flawless Stride (Ex): Starting at 6th level, a scout can move through any sort of terrain that slows movement (such as undergrowth, rubble, and similar terrain) at her normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. This ability does not let her move more quickly through terrain that requires a Climb or Swim check to navigate, nor can she move more quickly through terrain or undergrowth that has been magically manipulated to impede motion. A scout loses this benefit when wearing medium or heavy armour or when carrying a medium or heavy load.
Camouflage (Ex): Beginning at 8th level, a scout can use the Hide skill in any sort of natural terrain. See the ranger class feature, page 48 of the Player’s Handbook.
She loses this benefit when wearing medium or heavy armour or when carrying a medium or heavy load.
Blindsense (Ex): At 10th level, a scout gains the blindsense ability out to 30 feet. This ability functions as described on page 306 of the Monster Manual.
Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): Beginning at 14th level, a scout can use the Hide skill in natural terrain even while being observed. See the ranger class feature, page 48 of the Player’s Handbook. A scout loses this benefit when wearing medium or heavy armour or when carrying a medium or heavy load.
Free Movement (Ex): At 18th level and higher, a scout can slip out of bonds, grapples, and even the effects of confining spells easily. This ability duplicates the effect of a freedom of movement spell, except that it is always active. A scout loses this benefit when wearing medium or heavy armour or when carrying a medium or heavy load.
Blindsense (Ex): A 20th-level scout gains the blindsense ability out to 30 feet. Her senses become so acute that she can manoeuvre and fight flawlessly even in total darkness. Invisibility, darkness, and most kinds of concealment are irrelevant, though the scout must have line of effect to a creature or object to discern it.
Half-Elf Scout Starting Package
Armour: Studded leather (+2 AC, armour check penalty -1, speed 30 feet, 20 lb..).
Weapons: Short sword (1d6, crit 19-20/X2, 1 lb., light, piercing). Shortbow (ld6, crit x3, range mc. 60 ft., 2 lb., piercing).
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 8 + Int modifier.
|Skill||Ranks||Ability||Armour Check Penalty|
Gear: Backpack with waterskin, one day’s trail rations, bedroll, sack, flint and steel. Hooded lantern, 3 pints of oil. Quiver with 20 arrows.
Gold: 5d4 gp.
Sorcerors are uncommon, but they are well-known to most Volkranians. The somewhat uncontrollable nature of their powers means that many young sorcerors are sent to the Royal Academy in Volkraad to learn discipline. Despite this perceived recklessness, many have positions within the military, and Mages' Guilds in the towns often comprise more Sorcerors than Wizards.
Taken from the Book of Nine Swords. PLEASE ASK THE DM BEFORE GENERATING A SWORDSAGE!
Swordsages, or Blademasters, as they are known are rarely seen in Volkrania. They usually travel the land, following their own sets of goals. They can be from any race, but most Volkranians simply view them as skilled warriors.
Taken from the Complete Arcane.
Warlocks are regarded with suspicion by most Volkranians in the West of Volkrania viewing them as only one step removed from demon-worshippers, although many Easterlings recognise them and treat them cordially (Warlocks being quite common among the Easterlings). Some temples have special uses for Warlocks and keep them around, if only for their own protection.
Wizards are an accomplished part of Volkranian society, and many come to study at the Royal Academy in Volkraad. Wizards usually belong to a local Mages Guild, which provides them with a meeting place and organisation of such. Most Wizards serve at least some time in the military, where they are treated well. In the Battle for the Shadows, many (young and old) fell victim to the Dark Seed assassins, but the number of children exhibiting the ability to use magic appears to be increasing.
NOTE: this is provided for very small groups and is unlikely to be used. Check with the DM!
In this high-powered campaign variant, characters essentially take two classes at every level, choosing the best aspects of each. The process is similar to multiclassing, except that characters gain the full benefits of each class at each level. if the two classes you choose have aspects that overlap (such as Hit Dice, attack progression, saves, and class features common to more than one class), you choose the better aspect. The gestalt character retains all aspects that don’t overlap.
The gestalt character variant is particularly effective if you have three or fewer players in your group, or if your players enjoy multiclassing and want characters with truly prodigious powers. This variant works only if every PC in the campaign uses it, and it results in complicated characters who may overwhelm newer players with an abundance of options.
Only exceptional characters can become gestalt characters: they must have a score of 17 or more in the prime requisites of both classes e.g. a fighter/rogue character must have a score of at least 17 in both their Strength and Dexterity scores.
Building A Gestalt Character
To make a 1st-level gestalt character, choose two standard classes. (You can also choose any of the variant classes, though you can’t combine two versions of the same class.) Build your character according to the following guidelines.
Choose the larger Hit Die. A monk/sorcerer would use d8 as her Hit Die and have 8 hit points (plus Constitution modifier) at 1st level, for example. Base Attack Bonus
Choose the better progression from the two classes.
Base Saving Throw Bonuses
For each save bonus, choose the better progression from the two classes. For example, a 1st-level gestalt fighter/wizard would have base saving throw bonuses of Fortitude +2, Reflex +0, Will +2—taking the good Fortitude save from the fighter class and the good Will save from the wizard class.
Take the number of skill points gained per level from whichever class grants more skill points, and consider any skill on either class list as a class skill for the gestalt character. For example, a gestalt barbarian/bard would gain skill points per level equal to 6 + Int modifier (and have four times this amount at 1st level), arid can purchase skills from both the barbarian and bard lists as class skills.
A gestalt character gains the class features of both classes. A 1st-level gestalt rogue/cleric, for example, gets sneak attack +1d6, trapfinding, 1st-level cleric spells, and the ability to turn or rebuke undead. Class- and ability-based restrictions (such as arcane spell failure chance and a druid’s prohibition on wearing metal armor) apply normally to a gestalt character, no matter what the other class is.
A gestalt character follows a similar procedure when he attains 2nd and subsequent levels. Each time he gains a new level, he chooses two classes, takes the best aspects of each, and applies them to his characteristics. A few caveats apply, however.
- Class features that two classes share (such as uncanny dodge) accrue at the rate of the faster class.
- Gestalt characters with more than one spellcasting class keep track of their spells per day separately.
- A gestalt character can’t combine two prestige classes at any level, although it’s okay to combine a prestige class and a regular class. Prestige classes that are essentially class combinations - such as the arcane trickster, mystic theurge, and eldritch knight - should be prohibited if you’re using gestalt classes, because they unduly complicate the game balance of what’s already a high-powered variant. Because it’s possible for gestalt characters to qualify for prestige classes earlier than normal, the game master is entirely justified in toughening the prerequisites of a prestige class so it’s available only after 5th level, even for gestalt characters.
Characters can only multi-class at 4th level and above. They must have score of at least 17 in the Ability score that applies to their new class e.g. a Fighter must have an Intelligence score of 17 to become a Wizard, a Dexterity score at least 17 to become a Rogue. The change does not take place immediately and is carried out at the DMs discretion - during campaign downtime or a lull between adventures.