Practitioners of the Warleader sphere learn techniques for organizing, rallying, and directing their allies in battle. Regardless of whether they are charismatic warriors leading from the front or canny tacticians directing their troops from a secure position overlooking the battlefield, it is the superior talent for directing their troops to coordinate the correct response that makes them invaluable forces on the battlefield. When you gain the Warleader sphere, you gain 5 ranks in the Diplomacy skill, plus 5 ranks per additional talent spent in the Warleader sphere (maximum ranks equal to your total Hit Dice). If you already have ranks in the Diplomacy skill you may immediately retrain them, but you do not get to retrain when only temporarily gaining talents, such as through the armiger’s customized weapons class feature.
Tactics are coordinated battle plans that require continuing direction from the practitioner to maintain. A creature must have line of sight to, and be able to see, the practitioner to benefit from a tactic. Beginning a tactic is a move action, and it can be maintained each round as a move or swift action. Once activated, you may switch between any tactics you know each time you use a swift action to maintain an ongoing tactic. Tactics affect all allied creatures within a radius of 10 ft. + 5ft. per rank in Diplomacy you possess, and may be centered on any square you have both line of sight and line of effect to. You may recenter an ongoing tactic at a new location as part of the swift action used to maintain it. The benefits of your tactics end immediately if you are helpless, killed, paralyzed, rendered unconscious, or stunned.
When you first gain the Warleader sphere, you gain the following tactic:
While within the affected area of this tactic, allied creatures are considered to be flanking as long as they both threaten the same creature, regardless of their comparative positioning.
Shouts are sound-based effects centered on the practitioner that affect creatures in an area of effect centered on the practitioner with a radius of 10 ft. + 5 ft. per 2 ranks in Diplomacy the practitioner possesses. The practitioner may choose whether or not to include himself in the effects of his shout. The effects of shouts last for a number of rounds equal to 1 + 1 for every 4 ranks in Diplomacy you possesses, and use your ranks in Diplomacy instead of your base attack bonus when determining any saving throws. Unless otherwise noted, using a shout is a standard action. Deaf characters or characters otherwise lacking the ability to hear gain a +5 bonus on all saves against shout effects, and must attempt a saving throw against a shout even if its effects would be beneficial. Practitioners in the area of a silence spell or otherwise unable to make a sound cannot use shouts until they are once more able to be heard.
While some shouts only affect allies or enemies, others affect all targets within their area of effect. When performing such a shout, you may spend a move action to warn your allies to cover their ears and negate the effects, but doing so gives enemies within the area of effect a +5 bonus to their saving throw against the shout’s effects. Some shouts may require you to expend your martial focus, as described in their entry.
When you first gain the Warleader sphere, you gain the following shout:
When you use this shout, you and all affected allies gain a +1 morale bonus on damage rolls on their first attack each turn. For every 2 ranks in Diplomacy you possess, this morale bonus to damage is increased by +1. This is a mind-affecting emotion effect.
When performing a shout, you may change the area of effect to a cone of twice the length of the shout’s normal radius.
Any ally currently affected by one of your shouts or tactics may spend a move action to restore your martial focus. The creature spending a move action must have an Intelligence of at least 3 and possess a number of Hit Dice at least equal to 1/2 your total Hit Dice.
You may use a shout that normally requires you to expend your martial focus without expending your martial focus, but doing so makes you fatigued for 1 minute. If you are already fatigued, you become exhausted for this duration instead. You cannot use this talent while exhausted.
Creatures may benefit from your tactics even if they cannot see you, as long as they can hear your instructions; this allows creatures who are blind, but not deaf, to benefit from your tactics. You must still be able to see affected creatures and the area within your tactic’s radius to issue commands, but need not have direct line of sight or line of effect; for example, if you are watching an area through a magical viewing device and have a method of communicating verbally with affected allies in the area each round, you can maintain a tactic and grant its benefits to your allies without being physically present.
While outside of combat, whenever a creature makes a Bluff check against you that involves speaking, you can make a Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate check opposed by their Bluff check; upon making a successful opposed check, you can force them to either tell the truth (as far as they know) about the subject or take a -5 penalty on Charisma-based skill and ability checks (this includes Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate, even if the target uses an alternate ability score to determine their bonuses with these skills) against everyone who listened to them speak for 1 day.
Call Attention (shout)
When you use this shout, your opponents’ attention is drawn to you for its duration, making it hard for them to focus on your allies. Allies within the shout’s affected area may make a Stealth check to hide even if they do not have cover or concealment for the duration of the shout, but you automatically fail any Stealth checks for the shout’s duration.
Cry of Confrontation (shout)
You may expend your martial focus to use this shout and cause all enemy creatures who fail their save against this shout to take a -1 penalty on all attack rolls that do not include you as a target. Creatures incapable of targeting you with their attacks (for example, if you are flying out of reach of an enemy whose only available weapons are melee attacks) ignore this penalty. For every 4 ranks in Diplomacy you possess, this penalty increases by -1.
Focusing Cry (shout)
You may expend your martial focus to use this shout to restore the martial focus of 1 creature other than yourself within the shout’s affected area. For every 4 ranks in Diplomacy you possess, you may restore the martial focus of 1 additional creature. This is an instantaneous effect.
Frightful Roar (shout)
When you use this shout, all hostile creatures within its radius must succeed on a Will saving throw or be shaken. This is a mind-affecting fear effect. This talent may be taken up to twice; the second time this talent is taken, any creature affected by this shout who is already shaken is instead frightened for the shout’s duration.
You may expend your martial focus to use this shout, allowing all allies within its radius to make a new saving throw against any ongoing effect they are currently suffering from that normally grants a saving throw using the original DC, even if they have already failed the initial save and would not normally be granted another. Poison and disease effects that can worsen on a failed saving throw do not count this saving throw as a failure when determining such effects if it is unsuccessful. A creature can only benefit from this shout once in regard to any individual effect.
Inspiring Speech (shout)
You may call your allies to arms and give them the strength to push through exhaustion. For the shout’s duration, you and your affected allies may ignore the penalties associated with the fatigued or exhausted conditions. This does not end those conditions nor allow an exhausted creature to use the Roaring Reservoir talent, it simply removes the penalties associated with those conditions for the time being.
Rallying Speech (shout)
You can rally your allies against the effects of fear. For the duration of the effect, you and your allies ignore the effects of the shaken condition, and reduce the effects of the frightened condition to become those of the shaken condition. Panicked creatures ignore the effects of this shout.
Rousing Claxon (shout)
You may expend your martial focus to use this shout, granting you and all affected allies a number of temporary hit points equal to your ranks in Diplomacy; these temporary hit points expire at the end of the shout’s duration.
Courier’s Dash (tactic)
All allies that start their turn within the radius of this tactic gain a +5 ft enhancement bonus to their base land speed. An ally who begins or ends their turn outside of this tactic’s affected area loses its benefits until they once more start their turn within its radius. For every 5 ranks in Diplomacy you possess, this enhancement bonus is increased by an additional 5 ft.
Coordinated Reflexes (tactic)
Allies within range of this tactic are granted a +1 morale bonus on Reflex saves to avoid damage from attacks and effects that target an area, such as a fireball spell or the splash damage from an alchemist’s bombs. For every 4 ranks in Diplomacy you possess, this circumstance bonus increases by +1. Once per round when an ally affected by this tactic fails their Reflex save against such an effect, you may spend an immediate action to allow them to reroll the save.
Deadly Herdsman (tactic)
Whenever you or an ally benefiting from this tactic successfully deal damage to an enemy with an attack made using the attack action, the individual who made the attack may attempt a bull rush or reposition combat maneuver against the target of the attack as a free action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. If you possess 10 or more ranks in Diplomacy, the forced movement caused by the maneuver provokes an attack of opportunity from threatening allies other than the one initiating the movement.
Fortifying Phalanx (tactic)
Allies within range of this tactic are granted a +1 morale bonus on Fortitude saving throws, +1 for every 4 ranks in Diplomacy you possess, as long as they are within the natural reach of at least one other ally affected by this tactic. Once per round when an ally affected by this tactic fails a Fortitude saving throw, you may spend an immediate action to allow them to reroll the save.
Militant Will (tactic)
Allies within range of this tactic are granted a +1 morale bonus on Will saves against charm, compulsion, and fear effects, +1 per 4 ranks in Diplomacy you possess. Once per round when an ally affected by this tactic fails their Will save against such an effect, you may spend an immediate action to allow them to reroll the save.
Armies of the Dead
Prerequisite(s): Warleader sphere, base attack bonus +6.
You may make Diplomacy checks to improve the attitude of undead, including mindless undead. Undead creatures with an attitude of friendly or better towards you can benefit from any morale bonuses, teamwork feats, or mind-affecting effects your shouts or tactics would bestow, and mindless undead whose attitude has been improved to friendly will follow your orders to the best of their ability, though undead who are not closely watched may quickly revert to their prior inclinations. If the undead is under the control of a creature (such as a spellcaster or cleric using the Command Undead feat), the orders of that creature still supercede your own.
Darkland’s Cry (shout)
Prerequisite(s): Warleader sphere, Diplomacy 15 ranks.
You may expend your focus to perform a shout that saps the very life and will to live from a creature. Any creature within this shout’s radius who fails a Fortitude saving throw suffers 1d4 temporary negative levels that lasts 1 day. You may spend a move action to warn your allies before using this effect protecting them from the shout’s effects, but doing so grants all other creatures a +5 circumstance bonus on their saving throw. This is a supernatural effect.
Explosive Ululation (shout)
Prerequisite(s): Warleader sphere, Diplomacy 1 rank.
You may perform an ear-splitting scream. All targets within the area of effect suffer 1d8 sonic damage, +1d8 per 4 ranks in Diplomacy you possess. In addition, the targets become deafened for 1 round, +1 per 4 ranks in Diplomacy you possess. Targets are allowed a Fortitude save to halve the sonic damage and negate the deafened effect.
You may expend your martial focus when performing an explosive ululation. If you do so, all targets who fail their Fortitude save (as well as unattended objects) are immediately subject to a bull rush combat maneuver performed as a free action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity, using your ranks in Diplomacy + your Charisma modifier as your CMB. Targets are pushed directly away from you, and you cannot move as part of this maneuver. There is no size limitation on what creatures you may bull rush in this manner.
You may spend a free action to warn your allies before using this effect protecting them from the shout’s effects, but doing so grants all other creatures a +5 circumstance bonus on their saving throw. This is a supernatural effect.
Legion Unending (tactic)
Prerequisite(s): Warleader sphere, Rousing Claxon, base attack bonus +10.
Whenever an ally affected by this tactic would be reduced to 0 or fewer hit points, you may spend an immediate action to grant them a number of temporary hit points equal to twice your ranks in Diplomacy. These temporary hit points are applied directly to the damage dealt first, with any remaining temporary hit points applied after the attack is resolved. This ability may be used as a free action that can be taken even when it’s not your turn, though doing so expends your martial focus and ends the tactic.
Master’s Aura (tactic)
Prerequisite(s): Warleader sphere, Diplomacy 7 ranks.
Any ally affected by this tactic can use the aid another action to assist you on a skill or ability check as an immediate action as long as they are within close range. Any creature who comes into physical contact with you while this tactic is active must succeed on a Will saving throw or have their attitude towards you instantly improved by 1 step for 1 hour. Once a given creature has attempted a saving throw against this effect, they cannot be affected by it again for 24 hours.
Recall Spirit (shout)
Prerequisite(s): Warleader sphere, Rousing Claxon, Diplomacy 10 ranks.
You may expend your focus to recall the spirit of a creature within range of your shout that has died within 1 round. The target is healed for an amount equal to your ranks in Diplomacy + your Charisma modifier. If this healing is enough to raise the slain creature’s hit points to an amount greater than its Constitution score in negative hit points, it is returned to life and stabilizes at its new hit point total. If the creature’s hit point total would still be at a negative amount greater than or equal to its Constitution score, it remains dead. Creatures brought back to life via this ability gain a temporary negative level that lasts for one day. This is a supernatural effect.
Unending Loyalty (Shout)
You may use your recall spirit shout on a target that has been dead within 1 minute rather than 1 round. Rather than healing the target for a specific amount, the target is returned to life with a number of hit points equal to twice your ranks in Diplomacy + your Charisma modifier, and no negative level (if this would grant them more hit points than they would normally have, they gain any excess as temporary hit points). At the end of the shout’s duration, the creature dies regardless of its hit points, and may not be affected with this talent a second time unless they are returned to life by other means. This is a supernatural effect.
Spheres of Might, © 2017, Drop Dead Studios LLC; Authors: Adam Meyers, Michael Sayre, Andrew Stoeckle, N. Jolly