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Force Commander

Possessing an uncanny supernatural power to impede movement, reposition allies, or maneuver creatures into well laid traps, force commanders see, and shape, the world as a giant battlemap or chess board whose sole limits are the range onto which they can control a foe; as such, their talents are considered invaluable by military forces.

Wondrous Battlemap (Su)

At 1st level, a force commander starts the path of wizardry with a number of simple pawns equal to his Intelligence modifier; such pawns are usually made out of worn out, carved wood, bone, or glass (see the playing pawn item description for more information). As a move action, the force commander may designate and attune to one willing friendly creature within range of sight, and place a pawn corresponding to this creature in the air.

Upon doing so, a rigid crystalline battlemap made of force appears in his square to accommodate the piece and protect it under a force field. A force commander can also attune an unwilling creature within 20 feet.

This range increase by 5 feet at level 3 and every two levels thereafter (5th, 7th, 9th, etc.), up to 60 feet at level 20. The targeted creature receives a Will saving throw each round to negate the effect (DC 10 + half the force commander’s level + his Intelligence modifier), and a target that succeeds at its saving throw against this ability cannot be targeted again for 24 hours. A creature may only be attuned to the force commander for one minute per wizard level. A force commander can have a number of attuned pawns at the same time (including willing and non-willing targets) equal to ½ his level + his Intelligence modifier.

The force battlemap depicts information already known by the force commander, including perceptible environment, allies, and foes. This battlemap follows the force commander until he removes all pawns or until destroyed, whichever comes first. The battlemap has just enough leverage to withstand the pawns on it and cannot be used as a support or floating disk. As a wall of force, it is immune to dispel magic, although a mage’s disjunction can still dispel it.

A wondrous battlemap can be damaged by spells as normal, except for disintegrate, which automatically destroys it. It can be sundered as an attended item, but it has hardness 3 + the force commander’s level and a number of hit points equal to 4 per caster level; and CMD equal to 10 + the force commander’s level + his Intelligence modifier. Contact with a sphere of annihilation or rod of cancellation instantly destroys a wondrous battlemap. A creature may also attempt to sunder a specific pawn out of the battlemap; this pawn gains a bonus to hardness equal to half the force commander’s level. If the battlemap is broken, any link already made on creatures is lost until the next time the force commander spends a move action to attune a creature on a new battlemap. Creating or breaking the link between a pawn and a creature is a move action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Finally, the force commander may choose to sacrifice his 5-foot step as a swift action to make a creature attuned to a pawn take a 5-foot step in a direction of the force commander’s choice; even if this creature already has used a 5-foot step this round.

This ability replaces arcane bond.

Force Strategist (Su)

The force commander gains a +1 enhancement bonus on CMB checks made with spells or spell-like abilities; and half this bonus as a bonus to his effective spellcaster level with spells with the [force] descriptor. This bonus increases at level 5, and every five levels later (10, 15, 20), up to a maximum of +5 at 20th level (and +2 to the force commander’s level with force spells).

At 20th level, whenever he casts a spell with the force descriptor, the force commander treats it as Empowered; this does not increase the level or the casting time of the spell.

Move Pawns (Sp)

The force commander can manipulate creatures on the battlefield as pawns on the layout of a strategy game. As a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity, he can perform a ranged bull rush, drag, or reposition maneuver on a creature that he attuned to his wondrous battlemap, choosing one square adjacent to the target – this is where the maneuver starts from. He resolves these attempts as normal, using his caster level in place of his base attack bonus and Intelligence modifier in place of his strength modifier for determining his combat maneuver bonus.

No save is allowed against these maneuver attempts, and the movement from the maneuvers does not provoke attacks of opportunity unless the force commander possesses the appropriate feats and wishes for the movement to provoke. This is a force effect.

This ability replaces arcane school.

Control Specialist

A force commander adds the following spells to his spellbook when reaching the appropriate level. Any of these spells that uses the caster’s Wisdom modifier uses the force commander’s Intelligence modifier instead.

shield (1st), spiritual weapon (3), chain of perdition (5th), spiritual ally (7th), telekinesis (9th), enemy hammer (11th), grasping hand (13th), clenched fist (15th), crushing hand (17th)

If the force commander is not devoted to a deity, spiritual ally and spiritual weapon can take the form of a battleaxe, light flail, longsword, or warhammer.

The ally from spiritual ally can take the form of any of your attuned pawns, but this is purely visual.

This ability replaces Scribe Scroll.

Bonus Feats

A force commander may not choose the spell mastery feat through his bonus feats ability. He can select maneuver feats as bonus feats. The force commander uses his caster level as his BAB for the purposes of qualifying for maneuver feats, and may ignore Power Attack as a prerequisite for such feats.

New Items

Playing Pawn

A playing pawn is a piece used in board games, usually in the shape of a colored pebble. Some may also look like the symbolic representation of people, or monsters. Simple pawns have a negligible cost, and can be crafted in one day from any rigid material as to become fit enough to be used on a board. A pawn can be made with the masterwork quality by spending a number of gold pieces equal to its hardness times five; a masterwork pawn has 20% more hit points than usual.

Simple pawns: Glass, wood, ice, bone or similar material pawns have 1 hardness and 5 hp. They can be bought for 1 cp each or crafted at no price in one day (half with tools).

Artistic pawns: Pure stone, crystalline or metal pawns have 5 hardness and 10 hp. They can normally be bought for 5 gp each, although up pawns made out of precious stones or metals can reach prices of 250 gp.

Elven pawns: Pure mithral pawns have 10 hardness and 20 hp. They can be bought for 500 gp each and are always of masterwork quality.

Dwarven pawns: Pure adamantine pawns have 20 hardness and 30 hp. They can be bought for 1,000 gp each and are always of masterwork quality.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Secrets of Tactical Archetypes © 2012 Steven D. Russell; Authors: Will McCardell and Benjamin Rombeaut