FRENZIED BERSERKER [CW 34]Edit
The random madness of the thunderstorm and the unpredictability
of the slaadi come together in the soul of the frenzied
berserker. Unlike most other characters, she does not fi ght to
achieve some heroic goal or defeat a loathsome villain. Those
are mere excuses—it is the thrill of combat that draws her.
For the frenzied barbarian, the insanity of battle is much like
an addictive drug—she must constantly seek out more confl
ict to feed her craving for battle.
Along the wild borderlands and in the evil kingdoms of the world, frenzied berserkers often lead warbands that include a variety of character types—and even other frenzied berserkers.
Some such groups turn to banditry and brigandage; others serve as specialized mercenaries. Whatever their origin, such warbands naturally gravitate toward situations of instability and confl ict, because wars and civil strife are their bread and butter. Indeed, the coming of a frenzied berserker is the most obvious herald of troubled times.
The frenzied berserker’s path is unsuited for most adventurers— a fact for which the peace-lovers of the world can be thankful. Because of their traditional love for battle, orc and half-orc barbarians are the ones who most frequently adopt this prestige class, though human and dwarf barbarians also fi nd it appealing. It might seem that elves would be good candidates because of their chaotic nature, but the elven aesthetic and love of grace are at odds with the frenzied berserker’s devaluation of the self. Spellcasting characters and monks almost never become frenzied berserkers.
NPC frenzied berserkers often lead tribal warbands or raiders made up of fi ghters, barbarians, or other martial characters.
Some fall in with humanoids and even giantish tribes, but not all frenzied berserkers turn their chaotic strength to evil. A few have found homes in small villages or in rural areas, acting as members of the settlement’s defenses. Most people give even such well-intentioned frenzied berserkers a wide berth, however, and they often fi nd themselves wandering as loners in the wilderness.
Hit Die: d12.
To qualify to become a frenzied berserker, a character must fulfi ll all the following criteria.
Alignment: Any nonlawful.
Base Attack Bonus: +6.
Feats: Cleave, Destructive Rage~, Intimidating Rage~, Power Attack.
~New feats found in Chapter 3 of this book.
Table 2–11: The Frenzied BerserkerEdit
|1st||+1||+2||+0||+0||Frenzy 1/day, Diehard|
|5th||+5||+4||+1||+1||Frenzy 3/day, improved power attack|
|6th||+6||+5||+2||+2||Inspire frenzy 1/day|
|8th||+8||+6||+2||+2||Greater frenzy, inspire frenzy 2/day|
|10th||+10||+7||+3||+3||Inspire frenzy 3/day, tireless frenzy, supreme power attack|
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Supreme Cleave
The frenzied berserker’s class skills (and the key ability for
each skill) are Climb (Str), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Ride (Dex), and Swim (Str).
Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the frenzied berserker prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Frenzied berserkers gain no profi ciency with any weapon or armor.
Frenzy (Ex): A frenzied berserker can enter a frenzy during combat. While frenzied, she gains a +6 bonus to Strength and, if she makes a full attack action, gains a single extra attack each round at her highest bonus. (This latter effect is not cumulative with haste or other effects that grant additional attacks.) However, she also takes a –4 penalty to Armor Class and takes 2 points of nonlethal damage per round. A frenzy lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the frenzied berserker’s Constitution modifi er. To end the frenzy before its duration expires, the character may attempt a DC 20 Will save once per round as a free action. Success ends the frenzy immediately; failure means it continues. The effects of frenzy stack with those from any rage ability the character may have.
At 1st level, the character can enter a frenzy once per day. Thereafter, she gains one additional use per day of this ability for every two frenzied berserker levels she acquires (but she can’t use the ability more than once in any encounter).
The character can enter a frenzy as a free action. Even though this takes no time, she can do it only during her turn, not in response to another’s action. In addition, if she takes damage from an attack, spell, trap, or any other source, she automatically enters a frenzy at the start of her next action, as long as she still has at least one daily usage of the ability left. To avoid entering a frenzy in response to a provoking effect, the character must make a successful Will save (DC 10 + points of damage taken since her last action) at the start of her next turn.
While frenzied, the character cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except for Intimidate), the Concentration skill, or any abilities that require patience or concentration, nor can she cast spells, drink potions, activate magic items, or read scrolls. She can use any feat she has except Combat Expertise, item creation feats, or metamagic feats.
She can use her special ability to inspire frenzy (see below) normally.
During a frenzy, the frenzied berserker must attack those she perceives as foes to the best of her ability. Should she run out of enemies before her frenzy expires, her rampage continues. She must then attack the nearest creature (determine randomly if several potential foes are equidistant) and fi ght that opponent without regard to friendship, innocence, or health (the target’s or her own).
When a frenzy ends, the frenzied berserker is fatigued (–2 penalty to Strength and Dexterity, unable to charge or run) for the duration of the encounter.
If the character is still under the effect of a rage ability, the fatigued condition does not apply until the rage ends—at which point the character is exhausted, not merely fatigued.
Diehard: A frenzied berserker gains Diehard as a bonus feat even if she does not meet the prerequisites.
Supreme Cleave: At 2nd level and higher, a frenzied berserker can take a 5-foot step between attacks when using the Cleave or Great Cleave feat. She is still limited to one such adjustment per round, so she cannot use this ability during a round in which she has already taken a 5-foot step.
Deathless Frenzy (Ex): At 4th level and higher, a frenzied berserker can scorn death and unconsciousness while in a frenzy. As long as her frenzy continues, she is not treated as disabled at 0 hit points, nor is she treated as dying at –1 to –9 hit points. Even if reduced to –10 hit points or less, she continues to fi ght normally until her frenzy ends. At that point, the effects of her wounds apply normally if they have not been healed. This ability does not prevent death from massive damage or from spell effects such as slay living or disintegrate.
Improved Power Attack: Beginning at 5th level, a frenzied berserker gains a +3 bonus on her melee damage rolls for every –2 penalty she takes on her melee attack rolls when using the Power Attack feat (or +3 for every –1 penalty if wielding a two-handed weapon other than a double weapon). This benefi t does not stack with the normal effects of Power Attack.
Inspire Frenzy (Su): Beginning at 6th level, a frenzied berserker can inspire frenzy in her allies while she herself is frenzied.
When she uses this ability, all willing allies within 10 feet of her gain the benefi ts and the disadvantages of frenzy as if they had that ability themselves. The frenzy of affected allies lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the frenzied berserker’s Constitution modifi er, regardless of whether they remain within 10 feet of her.
A frenzied berserker gains one additional use of this ability per day for every two additional frenzied berserker levels she acquires, though the ability is still usable only once per encounter.
Greater Frenzy (Ex): Starting at 8th level, the character’s bonus to Strength during a frenzy becomes +10 instead of +6.
Supreme Power Attack: A 10th-level frenzied berserker gains a +2 bonus on her melee damage rolls for every –1 penalty she takes on her melee attack rolls when using the Power Attack feat (or +4 for every –1 penalty if wielding a two-handed weapon other than a double weapon). This benefi t does not stack with the effects of Power Attack or Improved Power Attack.
Tireless Frenzy: A 10th-level frenzied berserker no longer becomes fatigued after a frenzy, though she still takes the nonlethal damage for each round it lasts.