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Commander

“All men must follow, except for those who lead.”

Commanders are an essential component of any army, coordinating and organizing their troops. Oftentimes, the same skills that serve when leading an army are directly relevant to leading an adventuring group. Whether commanding legions or a handful of intrepid explorers, commanders are at their best when they have a stout-hearted group of comrades whose strengths they can leverage towards victory.

Starting Wealth: 5d6 x 10 gp (average 175 gp). In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Role: Commanders are leaders who inspire and coordinate their allies, exhorting them to greater achievements.

Alignment: Commanders can be of any alignment, but are typically lawful as their use of tactics and coordination favor an ordered mind.

Hit Die: d8

Class Skills

The commander’s class skills are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (engineering) (Int), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks Per Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Table: Commander
Class Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Reflex Save Will Save Special Combat Talents
1 +0 +2 +0 +2 Combat training, commander, lingering commands 0
2 +1 +3 +0 +3 Enhanced tactics 1
3 +2 +3 +1 +3 Battlefield specialist 2
4 +3 +4 +1 +4 Enhanced tactics 3
5 +3 +4 +1 +4 Group focus 1/day 3
6 +4 +5 +2 +5 Enhanced tactics 4
7 +5 +5 +2 +5 Logistic specialty 5
8 +6/+1 +6 +2 +6 Enhanced tactics 6
9 +6/+1 +6 +3 +6 Battlefield specialist 6
10 +7/+2 +7 +3 +7 Advanced tactician, enhanced tactics 7
11 +8/+3 +7 +3 +7 Group focus 2/day 8
12 +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Enhanced tactics 9
13 +9/+4 +8 +4 +8 Logistic specialty 9
14 +10/+5 +9 +4 +9 Enhanced tactics 10
15 +11/+6/+1 +9 +5 +9 Battlefield specialist 11
16 +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Enhanced tactics 12
17 +12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Group focus 3/day 12
18 +13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Enhanced tactics 13
19 +14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Logistic specialty 14
20 +15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Enhanced tactics, expert tactician 15

Class Features

Armor and Weapon Proficiencies

Commanders are proficient with simple weapons, as well as light armor and bucklers. In addition, if this is this character’s first level in any class, they may select a martial tradition of their choice.

Combat Training

A commander may combine combat spheres and talents to create powerful martial techniques. Commanders are considered Adept combatants and use the higher of their Charisma or Intelligence as their practitioner modifier.

Commander

A commander gains the Warleader sphere as a bonus sphere at 1st level.

Lingering Commands

The commander is an expert at commanding troops, even under the most difficult of conditions. Whenever the benefits of a shout or tactic the commander initiated would end, their benefits persist for a number of rounds equal to the higher of his Intelligence or Charisma modifiers. Instantaneous effects are not affected by this ability, nor are tactics that end because the commander used a swift action to activate a different tactic.

Enhanced Tactics (Ex)

Starting at 2nd level and every two levels thereafter, the commander may select an enhanced tactic. Enhanced tactics are special bonuses and abilities that can affect any ally currently benefiting from one of the commander’s tactics or shouts granted by the Warleader sphere. The commander may start an enhanced tactic as part of the same action used to begin a tactic or initiate a shout, and the commander may switch to any enhanced tactic he knows as a free action once per round. The commander may only have one enhanced tactic active at a time.

Some enhanced tactics allow an ally to make a free action even when it isn’t their turn. A single creature cannot make more than one such free action in a round, no matter how many enhanced tactics it might be benefiting from, even from multiple commanders.

Command Attack

The commander may use a standard action to allow any one creature currently benefiting from one of his shouts or tactics to immediately use an attack action as a free action that can be taken even if it’s not their turn. If the granted action is not taken immediately following the commander’s use of this ability, this effect is wasted (the benefiting target cannot “store” the action for use at a later time).

Command Movement

The commander may use a move action to allow any one creature currently benefiting from one of his shouts or tactics to immediately use a move action as a free action that can be taken even if it’s not their turn. If the granted action is not taken immediately following the commander’s use of this ability, this effect is wasted (the benefiting target cannot “store” the action for use at a later time).

Coordinated Assault

Whenever the commander uses an attack action to make a melee attack, he may immediately spend a move action to allow each ally threatening the target and currently benefiting from one of his shouts or tactics to make a single melee attack against the target as an immediate action.

Defensive Rally

As long as this enhanced tactic is active, the commander may use a move action to allow all allies currently benefiting from one of his shouts or tactics to move up to 15 ft. directly towards him. This movement does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Direct Charge

The commander may use a standard action to allow any one creature currently benefiting from one of his shouts or tactics to charge as a free action that can be taken even if it’s not their turn. If the granted action is not taken immediately following the commander’s use of this ability, this effect is wasted (the benefiting target cannot “store” the action for use at a later time).

Direct Magical Assault

The commander may use a standard action to allow any one creature currently benefiting from one of his shouts or tactics to cast a spell or activate a spell-like or supernatural ability as a free action that can be taken even if it’s not their turn. The granted spell or ability cannot have a casting or activation time greater than a standard action. If the granted action is not taken immediately following the commander’s use of this ability, this effect is wasted (the benefiting target cannot “store” the action for use at a later time).

Directed Tackle

The commander may use a standard action to allow any one creature currently benefiting from one of his shouts or tactics to perform a bull rush, reposition, pull, or to initiate or maintain a grapple as a free action that can be taken even if it’s not their turn. If the granted action is not taken immediately following the commander’s use of this ability, this effect is wasted (the benefiting target cannot “store” the action for use at a later time).

Expert Coordinator

When the commander first learn this enhanced tactic, he gains one teamwork feat he qualifies for as a bonus feat. The commander may share any one teamwork feat he knows with all allies currently benefiting from one of his shouts or tactics, even if they do not meet the feat’s prerequisites. At 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter, the commander may share 1 additional teamwork feat he knows when using this enhanced tactic. This enhanced tactic may be taken multiple times, gaining a new teamwork feat each time.

Mountaineering

The commander grants quick instructions to assist in climbing over various obstacles, including calling out handholds, footholds, and piton locations. All allies currently benefiting from one of the commander’s shouts or tactics gain a climb speed equal to 5 x the higher of the commander’s Charisma or Intelligence modifiers (minimum 5 ft.); allies who already possess a climb speed increase their existing climb speed by this amount.

Rapid Repositioning

The commander may use his move action to direct his allies to quickly change positions, allowing a number of allies equal to the greater of his Charisma or Intelligence modifiers (minimum 1) to immediately move up to 10 ft. in any direction. An ally must be affected by one of the commander’s tactics to benefit from this ability, and must end the granted movement within the area of one of his tactics.

Troop Upkeep

By haranguing and encouraging his troops, the commander can enable them to draw on inner reserves of strength and fortitude they didn’t realize they possessed. Each round at the start of the commander’s turn, each ally currently benefiting from one of his tactics or shouts gains a number of temporary hit points equal to his Charisma or Intelligence bonus (minimum 1), whichever is higher. These temporary hit points disappear immediately if the ally ceases to benefit from at least one of the commander’s shouts or tactics.

Troop Volley

Whenever the commander uses an attack action to make a ranged attack, he may immediately spend a move action to allow each ally currently benefiting from one of his shouts or tactics to make a single ranged attack against the same creature as an immediate action.

Battlefield Specialist (Ex)

At 3rd level and every 6 levels thereafter, the commander may select a specific terrain he excels at coordinating battles in. The commander chooses one terrain and its associated benefits each time he gains this ability.

Cold

The commander is an expert at fighting and leading warriors on icy glaciers and across snowy tundras. When fighting or traveling in such terrain, the commander and any ally affected by one of his tactics or shouts are not impeded by ice effects (Pathfinder Core Rulebook, Cold Dangers), are immune to nonlethal damage caused by cold exposure, do not take a penalty to ranged attacks or Perception checks when fighting in snow, and take only the standard penalties for snow when fighting in heavy snow.

Desert

Whether over sandy dunes or through blasted wastelands, the commander learns to excel and lead his allies to thrive where others wither. When fighting or traveling in desert terrain, the commander and any ally affected by one of his tactics or shouts can ignore the effects of non-magical difficult terrain, double the distance at which they can make Perception checks to detect the presence of other creatures, gain a bonus on Perception checks to notice natural hazards equal to the higher of the commander’s Charisma or Intelligence modifiers (minimum 1), and are immune to nonlethal damage caused by exposure to heat or sandstorms.

Forest (coniferous and deciduous)

The commander has become an expert at fighting in forested terrain, learning to leverage the forest’s cover and bounty to his advantage. When fighting or traveling in forested terrain, the commander and any ally affected by one of his tactics or shouts are treated as having the evasion ability while standing in the same square as a tree, do not have the DC of Acrobatics checks increased due to undergrowth or heavy undergrowth, and need only spend two squares of movement to move into heavy undergrowth.

Jungle

The commander has learned to take the natural hazards of jungle fighting and turn them into tactical advantages. When fighting or traveling in jungle terrain, the commander and any ally affected by one of his tactics or shouts gain a bonus to saving throws against poisons and diseases equal to the greater of the commander’s Charisma or Intelligence modifiers (minimum +1), increase their base Climb speed by 10 ft. (or gain a Climb speed of 10 ft. if they do not already have one), and gain a bonus on Acrobatics checks equal to 1/2 the commander’s class level.

Mountain (including hills)

Rocky terrain, steep cliffs, and narrow canyons are assets to be leveraged, not obstacles to be feared. When fighting or traveling in mountain terrain the commander and any ally affected by one of his tactics or shouts gain a competence bonus to their AC against ranged attacks equal to the greater of the commander’s Charisma or Intelligence modifiers (minimum +1), increase their base climb speed by 10 ft. (or gain a climb speed of 10 ft. if they do not already have one), and gain a bonus on Climb and Survival checks equal to 1/2 the commander’s class level.

Plains

Whether through cultured farmlands or rolling fields of untamed grass, the commander knows how to fight and travel through all kinds of plains. When fighting or traveling through plains terrain, the commander and any ally affected by one of his tactics or shouts ignore non-magical difficult terrain, double the effective distance at which a Perception check for detecting the presence of others can succeed, can exit a trench without paying an additional square of movement, and gain a competence bonus on Survival checks to scavenge food equal to the higher of the commander’s Charisma or Intelligence modifiers (minimum 1).

Swamp

The commander has learned to take the natural hazards of fighting in swamplands and turn them into tactical advantages. When fighting or traveling in swamp terrain, the commander and any ally affected by one of his tactics or shouts gain a bonus to saving throws against poisons and diseases equal to the greater of the commander’s Charisma or Intelligence modifiers (minimum +1), increase their base Swim speed by 10 ft. (or gain a Swim speed of 10 ft. if they do not already have one), and can move through difficult terrain normally while in a swamp.

Urban

City streets, rooftops, cobbled roads, and grimy sewers are the ideal battlefields for some commanders. When fighting or traveling in urban terrain the commander and any ally affected by one of his tactics or shouts gain a competence bonus to Acrobatics checks made to cross a rooftop or traverse a sewer and to Diplomacy checks made to direct a crowd equal 1/2 the commander’s class level. In addition, the commander and any ally affected by one of his tactics or shouts increase any AC bonuses from cover by +2 while fighting in urban environments.

Underground

Through dark caverns and narrow tunnels, the commander is an expert in fighting underground. When fighting or traveling in underground terrain the commander and any ally affected by one of his tactics or shouts gain low-light vision, or double the range of their existing low-light vision. In addition, any creature benefiting from this ability may roll their miss chance due to concealment twice and take the most favorable result, and gain a competence bonus on Survival checks, and Perception checks made to notice natural hazards, equal to 1/2 the commander’s class level.

Water (above and below the surface)

Whether through ocean depths or over river rapids, the commander is a master of aquatic combat. When fighting in watery or aquatic terrain, the commander and any ally affected by one of his tactics or shouts never risk being swept away by water moving 60 ft. per round or faster, double the distance they can see underwater, do not take penalties as normal for attack and damage when fighting underwater with slashing or bludgeoning weapons, increase their base swim speed by 10 ft. (or gain a swim speed of 10 ft. if they do not already have one), and gain a bonus on Swim checks equal to 1/2 the commander’s class level.

Group Focus (Ex)

Starting at 5th level, the commander may fly into a strenuous and exhausting flurry as a standard action, shouting out commands, redirecting attention, calling out threats, and generally imposing his will and order upon the battlefield, restoring the martial focus of all allies who can see and hear him. If an affected ally would not benefit from regaining martial focus, they instead gain a morale bonus to their attack rolls, damage rolls, saving throws, AC, and CMD equal to the higher of the commander’s Charisma or Intelligence bonus for 1 round. The commander may use this ability 1/day at 5th level, and gains an additional use every 6 levels thereafter.

Logistic Specialty (Ex)

At 7th level and every 6 levels thereafter, the commander learns a logistic specialty from the following list:

Call In A Specialist

The commander makes many contacts over the course of his career, including individuals with unique skill sets capable of turning the tide of a critical battle or provide crucial information. Once per week, the commander may spread the word in any small town or larger settlement that he is looking for such a specialist to aid in a particular task.

The specialist appears within 24 hours, minus 1 hour for each level the commander possesses (minimum time until appearance of 1 hour). The specialist stays until their task (as described in their entry) is completed, or for a number of days equal to 1/2 the commander’s class level, whichever comes first.

Specialists whose services are acquired in this way generally will not become directly involved in combat; if forced into a situation where combat is inevitable, they will fight to protect themselves but will otherwise avoid conflict. If a specialist is killed in the course of performing their services as defined in this ability, the commander must wait 1 month before another specialist will work with him again. Each time the commander uses this ability, he chooses a particular type of specialist from the following list:

Equipment Specialist

The commander gains the services of a blacksmith whose class level is equal to the commander’s class level -3. This equipment specialist will use his maintenance class feature for the commander and up to 5 other individuals in preparation for the following day. In addition, the blacksmith can use his reforge ability to repair or reforge one magic weapon in the commander’s possession.

Information Specialist

The commander gains the services of a bard or rogue whose class level is equal to the commander’s class level -3. This information specialist can perform one of two services; first, they can provide the commander with a detailed map of the local town or city, including hidden passages, sewer passageways (if any), guild hall locations (both legitimate businesses and illicit organizations such as thieves guilds), and other relevant points of interest. Secondly, they can spend 5 days studying a single city block, or one major figure in their town or city; if they study a city block, they provide basic information about all traffic that moves in or out of this area, including what races and in what numbers, any traps or particularly dangerous individuals who frequent the area, and any other major points of interest. If they study a particular individual or citizen they gain detailed information about the figure including their friends and contacts, any significant abilities possessed by the individual (such as martial prowess or spellcasting), any weapons or possessions of particular note or value, and any addictions, habits, or other social weaknesses the individual possesses.

Medical Specialist

The commander gains the services of a cleric or scholar whose class level is equal to the commander’s class level -3. This medical specialist will provide medical treatment to the commander and up to 5 other individuals, using any abilities they possess to heal the injuries and negative conditions affecting these targets. The commander must still pay for any expensive material components necessary for spells or abilities the medical specialist performs.

Scouting Specialist

The commander gains the services of a hunter or ranger whose class level is equal to the commander’s class level -3. This scouting specialist can perform one of two services; first, they can provide the commander with a detailed map of nearby wilderness territory, including pathways, dungeons, and the lairs of dangerous beasts. The scouting specialist can successfully map up to 1 square mile of territory each day. Secondly, they can spend 5 days studying a wilderness area of 1 square mile or less, or a single creature; if they study a particular creature, at the end of this period they provide detailed information about it to the commander, including its current condition, weaknesses, spell-like or supernatural abilities, and its habits and daily routine (where it goes and why).

If they study a particular area, they provide basic information on all creatures that move through that territory, including species and approximate number, any hazards or pitfalls in the area, and any other items of particular interest.

Call In the Cavalry

Over the course of his career, the commander makes friends and earns favors with all manner of individuals whose careers intersect with the military and adventuring lifestyles. Once per week, as long as the commander is in a small town or larger center of civilization, the commander may call in such a favor to gain temporary access to specially trained mounts for himself and his allies. These mounts may be camels, hippogriffs, sharks, or any type of animal as appropriate to the local environments, but mounts gained through use of this ability never have more than 5 HD. The commander gains access to a number of mounts equal to his class level; these mounts are typically well-equipped to deal with local terrains, whether that entails swimming, flying, or another form of movement, and have a 60 ft. movement speed appropriate to any of their modes of movement; generally, mounts should not have more than two movement modes (such as a land and fly speed), and may only have one if appropriate, such as a shark only having a swim speed.

Regardless of the exact type or nature of these mounts, they know that they are on loan and consider their own safety to be of utmost importance; if the party is attacked or otherwise comes under fire from an enemy source, the mounts will immediately deposit the commander and his allies in the nearest safest location before retreating to a safe distance until the danger ends. The mounts will also not allow themselves to be sold, and generally have prominent markings declaring their ownership, such as branding or dyeing in the design or colors of the rightful owner. In addition, the mounts will not follow the commander or his allies into obviously dangerous situations, including into dungeons, active volcanoes, extra-planar rifts, etc. The commander has access to these mounts for 1 week, plus 1 additional week at 11th level and every 4 levels thereafter.

Field Feeding

The commander can make a single DC 20 Survival check to move at full overland speed while foraging and supply enough food to feed himself and up to 10 Medium humanoids per class level for 1 day. If the commander is not traveling overland, he can instead scavenge the same amount of food with an hour’s time. For every 5 points by which the commander exceeds the DC for this check, each creature fed by this ability gains a +1 morale bonus to damage rolls and Fortitude saves (maximum +5) for the next 24 hours.

Mercantile Connections

Whether supplying an army or a small group of adventurers, the commander always knows how to find the best supplies at the lowest price. Whenever he buys an item that costs 500 gp or less, he can buy it at 90% of the market price. If the commander buys multiples of such an item in units of 5 or more, he may instead buy it at 70% of market price.

Overland March

The commander and any ally who can see and hear him double the maximum distance they can travel in an hour when walking, running, or hustling during overland movement. Creatures with overland flight speeds benefiting from this ability have their overland flight speed doubled. In addition, anyone benefiting from this ability can make a forced march for up to 16 hours before needing to make a Constitution check to avoid nonlethal damage and fatigue.

Secret Ways

Once per day, the commander can use the gather information function of the Diplomacy skill over an hour’s time to discern the locations and pass phrases (if any) of secret portals, tunnels, tears between planar locations, and similar effects in urban areas, or in ruins and cemeteries near urban areas; the commander cannot take 10 or 20 on this check. These passages are not necessarily permanent fixtures; they may be planar or astral convergences that only happen during particular times of the year, abnormal rifts created by recent events in the area, or any number of other possible occurrences. While passages uncovered using this ability are always reliable to the degree determined by the commander’s gather information check, there are no assurances that the events that created the passage will be still viable for longer than 48 hours past the travel time to reach them. The function and reliability of this ability is determined by his gather information check, as detailed on Table: Secret Ways.

Table: Secret Ways
Gather Information DC Effect
15 The commander learns of a passage within 1 week’s travel of the nearest settlement of at least 1,000 people that is capable of transporting a small group (maximum 10) to a location within 1 week’s travel of his desired destination.
25 The commander learns of a passage within 1 day’s travel of the nearest settlement with at least 50 people that is capable of transporting a small group (maximum 10) to a location within 1 day’s travel of his desired destination.
35 The commander learns of a passage within 1 day’s travel of his current location that is capable of transporting him and up to 100 humanoids a day to a location within 1 day’s travel of his desired destination, or to the nearest settlement.
45 The commander discovers the location of a passage within 4 hour’s travel of his current location capable of transporting himself and up to 1,000 humanoids a day directly to his desired destination, or to the nearest settlement.

Advanced Tactician

Commanders of at least 10th level may have two enhanced tactics active at a time, and may activate or switch both enhanced tactics using the largest same action, as long as it is the largest activation action from among the two (for example, the commander could activate two enhanced tactics that both require a move action as a move action, but an enhanced tactic that requires a standard action and an enhanced tactic that requires a move action would require a standard action to activate together).

Expert Tactician

At 20th level, the commander may have up to three enhanced tactics active at a time, and may activate or switch all three enhanced tactics using the same action as long as he uses the largest activation action.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Spheres of Might, © 2017, Drop Dead Studios LLC; Authors: Adam Meyers, Michael Sayre, Andrew Stoeckle, N. Jolly