the Soldier

This post describes the soldier class, as required to create the character Proud Leopard.

The solider is a Strength-based melee striker combining elements of the Rogue, Fighter and Barbarian to create a striker that is not specialised in any of the areas of the other classes.

The example below is a little short on descriptive text and power types. Assume that all powers are Martial, Weapon powers.


Soldiers are formally trained by a military force in weapons and kung fu. They are the primary force in any army or kung fu clan and may lean to Defender or Leader as a secondary role.

Role: Striker
Power Source: Martial
Key abilities: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution
Armour Proficiencies: Cloth, Leather, Hide, Chain, Light shield, Heavy shield
Weapon Proficiencies: Simple melee, military melee, simple ranged, military ranged
Bonus to defence: +2 to Fortitude

HP at first level: 12 + Constitution
HP per level gained: 5
Healing surges per day: 7

Trained skills: Choose three trained skills from the following list: Athletics, Endurance, Heal, Intimidate, History.

Class features: Kung fu, Tactics (Defensive tactics or Aggressive tactics), Iron Shirt, Unarmed combat


Level 1 At-Will powers:

Defensive strike: Str vs. AC, 1[W] + Strength modifier damage, +1 to all defences until the end of your next turn
Slaying strike: Str vs. AC, 1[W] + Dexterity + Strength modifier damage, all opponents gain a +2 bonus to hit you until the start of your next turn
Accurate Strike:  Str + 2 vs/ AC, 1[W] damage
Bold Strike: Str vs. AC, 1[W] + Strength modifier damage, on hit you gain your Constitution modifier in temporary hit points

Level 1 Encounter powers:

Rending strike: Str vs. AC, 2[W] + Strength modifier damage, on hit your target takes 2 points of ongoing damage, save ends.
Sheltering strike: Str vs. AC, 2[W] + Strength modifier damage, an ally adjacent to the target my shift 2 squares
Cunning trip: Str vs. AC, 1[W]+ Strength modifier damage, on hit the target is knocked prone
Twin strike: one or two targets, Str vs. AC, 2[W]+ Strength modifier damage

Level 1 Daily powers:

Tiger stance: Str vs. AC, 3[W] + Strength modifier damage, miss does 1/2 damage. Until the end of the encounter you gain a +5 power bonus to all Athletics checks, +2 to Speed and +2 to the damage of all melee attacks.
Snake stance: Str vs. AC, 3[W] + Strength modifier damage, miss does 1/2 damage. Until the end of the encounter you gain a +2 power bonus to attack rolls.
Crippling strike: Str vs. AC, 2[W] + Strength modifier damage. On hit the target is slowed and takes an ongoing 5 damage (a save ends both effects). On a miss the target is slowed until the end of your next turn.

Class feature details:

Defensive tactics
This feature grants the character a bonus to AC defence equal to their Dexterity bonus when they are attacked with an opportunity attack.

Aggressive Tactics
This feature grants the
Aggressive Tactics encounter power. This power triggers when you strike a target, and allows you to add your Dexterity modifier to the damage of that strike.

Kung Fu

The kung fu class feature grants the following abilities:

  • Choose a kung fu style
  • The Concentrate Chi feature, which allows a chi power to be used twice per encounter. These chi powers must be chosen from the powers known by the character. A kung fu style and class grant chi powers for use with this feature.
  • Choose two core abilities of that style. These are based on the way each style uses Chi, and differ for many styles. They are listed as core abilities in the style description. One of these abilities may be a chi power for use with Concentrate Chi.
  • As a character advances in level their specific kung fu style will grant them new chi powers.
  • A kung fu style may provide encounter and daily powers that do not require the use of the Concentrate Chi feature. These may be swapped for normal class powers if desired. They may also be swapped when a character retrains.

Iron Shirt

The Soldier learns several styles of iron shirt training. This allows them to withstand punishment through physical conditioning, but more importantly by focusing their chi when struck. This prevents attacks from causing damage and acts like armour. These armour types may be enchanted, and require a minor action to turn on. There may be penalties applied to skill checks and movement speed when using iron shirt. This is caused by the amount of concentration required to maintain this defence.

All armour types are trained at first level. The types of iron shirt training available to the Soldier are:

Superficial: +2 AC
Light: +3 AC, -1 check
Medium: +6 AC, -1 check, -1 speed

Unarmed combat

The Soldier is trained extensively in hand to hand combat as well as weapons. Their hands and feet are deadly weapons. They have honed these skills until they are the equivalent of a weapon, and may have multiple kung fu weapons. Each ‘weapon’ style may be enchanted like a normal weapon. Changing weapon requires a minor action.

All weapon types are trained at first level. The types of unarmed kung fu weapon available to the Soldier are:

Fast: 1d8 damage, +3 proficiency bonus
Strong: 1d10 damage, +2 proficiency bonus
Crushing: 1d8 damage, +2 proficiency bonus, high crit


That’s it for a basic class definition. Some of this will be reused for each class, so new ones will be a little easier. I have used all the ideas from previous posts in this one with minimal changes. Any comments are greatly appreciated.


4 Responses to “the Soldier”

  1. 1 Cynan
    September 27, 2009 at 1:15 PM

    Had a bit of a look see at the at-wills. Couple of comments.

    For slaying strike should that be combat advantage rather than +2 to hit? Disadvantage is that it gives classes like rogues a chance to do more damage. Advantage is that it won’t be able to stack with combat advantage and end up giving someone +4 to hit.

    Are you considering keywords like Invigoration (+temp hitpoints if you have training in endurance) or rattling (-2 to foes attacks if you have intimigate training)? I ask cause bold strike is the same as Crushing Surge but without the requirement for endurance training. Not that is necessarily a bad thing, not sure how many strikers have the ability to get temp hitpoints that easily though. (Remember he is not a defender)

  2. 2 antonyball
    September 28, 2009 at 3:11 PM

    Hi Cy,

    Interesting idea about the slaying strike options. Combat advantage could be fine here, and makes a little more sense. It is based on the Barbarian power that has the same stats, but there’s nothing wrong with your idea. Maybe we should playtest it and try both.

    Keywords are a great idea. I planned to add them later, but I rushed this post. I really need to fill out the descriptions and finish the keywords. Interestingly, I didn’t look at Paladins for the powers, Barbarians have an at-Will that is even more powerful and grants temporary hit points. I think I prefer the keyword idea though. I’ll revisit this because temporary hit points are good for an encounter power, but you are right, an at-Will seems like overkill. Barbarians are designed to be a big pile of hit points, so it fits their style more.

    I’ll get around to the follow-up post soon!

  3. 3 antonyball
    September 28, 2009 at 8:10 PM

    Just as a note for later, here’s some keywords that may be appropriate:
    – rattling: target takes -2 to attacks until end of your next turn, requires Intimidate training
    – invigorating: gain temporary hit points equal to your Constitution modifier if trained in Endurance
    – reliable: power is not expended if you miss with it

    Interestingly, after checking through the PHB, PHB2 and martial power, these keywords are used very inconsistently and the powers granted are often duplicated within an individual exploit.

  4. 4 antonyball
    September 29, 2009 at 1:49 PM

    I’ve been thinking through the suggestion about using keywords, and I like it. Liberal use of keywords for this class will allow a more defender-like feel to the class, if the character chooses to take advantage of it.
    If they don’t want those powers, then they will be the ones that are substituted out for kung fu style powers.

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