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Buck

A Base Class for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

Orest Kiprensky - Portrait of Life Guard Colonel Yevgraf Davydov - Google Art Project

Art by Orest Kiprensky (Public Domain)

There are many colloquial terms for the landed nobility of various regions but all share some common distinctions. One common distinction is their military noblemen. Bucks, a slang term for young landed noblemen of the military profession, command an estate and have sworn their services to the crown. They have affluence, a proper lineage, and the trust of their peers. All bucks are officers who hold ranks above what they should be entitled to at their stages in life and are renown for their gentlemanly conduct, even in the face of overwhelming brutality. Their prowess comes from their regimented and strict adherence to military protocols and training. This makes them more mechanical and inflexible when compared to other combatants on the battlefield, but none can deny their effectiveness.

Common Titles: Baronet (Britain), Junker (Prussia), Pomeshchik (Russia), Laird (Scotland), and Jagir (India).

Hit Dice: D10.


Role: Bucks fill many of the same roles as other fighting men. They have elements in common with fighters, paladins, cavaliers, rangers, and even gunslingers. In a campaign setting, the GM should consider using bucks to replace one of the aforementioned classes. They can serve as excellent alternatives to paladins in a low magic setting due to their code of conduct, as more regimented fighters from a particularly military minded empire, as riflemen in an army setting, or even as a regular militia.


Alignment: Any lawful


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


Class SkillsEdit

The buck’s class skills are Craft (Int), Climb (Str), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Knowledge (history) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier


Table: Buck

Level

Base Attack Bonus

Fort Save

Ref Save

Will Save

Special

1st

+1

+2

+0

+2

Gentleman, soldiering +1

2nd

+2

+3

+0

+3

Regimental bonus

3rd

+3

+3

+1

+3

Buck bonus feat

4th

+4

+4

+1

+4

Holdings

5th

+5

+4

+1

+4

Soldiering +2

6th

+6/+1

+5

+2

+5

Call to arms

7th

+7/+2

+5

+2

+5

Regimental bonus

8th

+8/+3

+6

+2

+6

Buck bonus feat

9th

+9/+4

+6

+3

+6

Holdings

10th

+10/+5

+7

+3

+7

Soldiering +3

11th

+11/+6/+1

+7

+3

+7

Call to arms

12th

+12/+7/+2

+8

+4

+8

Regimental bonus

13th

+13/+8/+3

+8

+4

+8

Buck bonus feat

14th

+14/+9/+4

+9

+4

+9

Holdings

15th

+15/+10/+5

+9

+5

+9

Soldiering +4

16th

+16/+11/+6/+1

+10

+5

+10

Call to arms

17th

+17/+12/+7/+2

+10

+5

+10

Regimental bonus

18th

+18/+13/+8/+3

+11

+6

+11

Buck bonus feat

19th

+19/+14/+9/+4

+11

+6

+11

Holdings

20th

+20/+15/+10/+5

+12

+6

+12

King and country, soldiering +5

Class FeaturesEdit

The following are the class features of the buck.


Weapon and Armor ProficienciesEdit

The buck is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, light armor, medium armor, and shields (excluding tower shields). The buck is also proficient with all firearms of his choice fitting to the setting (early or advanced). If the setting does not use firearms, he is not proficient with them.


Gentleman (Ex):Edit

Paramount to the conduct of the buck is his ability to retain his gentlemanly conduct and demeanor while on the battlefield. The buck loses access to all class features granted by this class, except weapon proficiencies and the holdings class feature, if he ever loses his lawful alignment or has a display of excessively intense emotion. Such displays include raging (as per the barbarian class feature or spell), spells like hideous laughter, failing to save against a fear effect as severe as panicked (but not shaken), benefiting from a morale bonus exceeding his buck level, or other aspects. In all instances but not in the event of an alignment shift, the buck can be restored the use of his class features with a formal apology once the effect ends. This can be done as a swift action. A buck who continually loses his class features by willingly violating this code of conduct (such as intentionally subjecting himself to a rage spell on a regular basis) may be unable to recover his class features until he has cleared his name.


At 1st level, the buck gains an insight bonus against all effects that would cause him to lose his composure (as described above), on Diplomacy checks, and Sense Motive checks equal to 1/2 his buck level. The bonus provided by the total number of ranks the buck has in the skill and the bonus provided by this class feature may never exceed his total character level.


Soldiering (Ex):Edit

At 1st level, the buck can employ his military experience to aspects of war making. He gains a +1 competence bonus on damage rolls while in combat with any martial weapon or firearm*. At 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter, this bonus increases by +1 to a maximum of +5 at 20th level. Please note that this class feature does not apply to non-martial weapons such as improvised weapons, natural weapons, simple weapons, and exotic weapons (excluding firearms).


===

  • Sidebar: Firearms versus Crossbows===

In games that do not allow firearms, the buck replaces them with crossbows, and all bonuses that would apply to firearms instead apply to crossbows.


Regiment Bonus (Ex):Edit

At 2nd level, the buck must select one regimental combat style to pursue. Once this choice has been made, it cannot be change. This greatly influences his approach to combat, and the influence he can have upon it. At 7th level and every 5 levels thereafter, the buck may select an additional benefit from his regimental bonus.


ScoutEdit

  • Scout Movement: The buck’s land speed increases by +10 feet. This regimental bonus may be selected multiple times, but each time after the first, it only increases the buck’s base land speed by an additional +5 feet.

  • Woodland Stride: The buck may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at his normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. Thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion, however, still affect him.

  • Regimental Ranger: The buck gains a +2 insight bonus on damage rolls with ranged attacks that do not have an ability score modifier applied to them (such as firearms or crossbows). However, if the bonus from an ability score modifier is lower than +2, the buck may use this bonus instead.

  • Mobile Warfare: The buck gains a +2 morale bonus on melee attack rolls so long as he has moved at least 30 feet prior to the attack.

  • Shot on the Run: The buck gains the benefit of the Shot on the Run feat even if he does not meet the prerequisites. The buck must be at least 7th level to select this regimental bonus.

  • Parting Shot: The buck gains the Parting Shot feat even if he does not meet the prerequisites. The buck must have the Shot on the Run feat to select this regimental bonus.


GrenadierEdit

  • Toughness: The buck gains Toughness as a bonus feat.

  • Improved Toughness: The buck gains +1 additional hp per 2 HD he has, in addition to what he would normally gain from the Toughness feat. The buck must have the Toughness feat before selecting this regimental bonus.

  • Struggle Onward: The first time per day the buck is dropped below 0 hp, he automatically stabilizes at the start of his next turn. The buck must have the Toughness feat before selecting this regimental bonus.

  • Forlorn Hope: The buck gains a +2 morale bonus on attack and damage rolls when making an attack on a charge.

  • Front Line Fighter: The buck may deliver a full attack at the end of a charge if he does not move beyond his own base land speed during the charge. The buck must be at least 7th level to select this regimental bonus.

  • Throw Anything: The buck gains Throw Anything as a bonus feat.

  • Grenades (Su): The buck can create and throw grenades, as per the alchemist bomb class feature, a number of times per day equal to 1/4th his buck level (minimum 1). He uses his buck level to determine the damage his grenades do. If he has levels of alchemist, he may stack them for the purposes of determining the amount of damage his grenades do. The buck must have the Throw Anything feat before selecting this regimental bonus.


MarineEdit

  • Military Sailor: The buck gains an insight bonus on all Profession (sailor) checks equal to 1/2 his buck level.

  • Amphibious Warfare: The buck gains a swim speed equal to 1/2 his base land speed (minimum 5 feet).

  • Rigging Drills: The buck gains an insight bonus on all Climb checks equal to 1/2 his buck level.

  • Raiding Tactics: The buck gains +1 additional skill point per level. This is retroactive as well, granting him a +1 additional skill point for each level he had already taken in buck prior to him taking this regimental bonus.

  • Two-Weapon Fighting: The buck gains the Two-Weapon Fighting feat even if he does not meet the prerequisites.

  • Improved Two-Weapon Fighting: The buck gains the Improved Two-Weapon Fighting feat even if he does not meet the prerequisites (other than Two-Weapon Fighting). A buck must have the Two-Weapon Fighting feat before selecting this regimental bonus.

AnyEdit

  • Hand-To-Hand Training: The buck may apply his bonus from his soldiering class feature to combat maneuvers made with martial weapons or firearms. The buck may use a one-handed firearm as a club and a two-handed firearm as a greatclub.

  • Quick Draw: The buck gains Quick Draw as a bonus feat.

  • Fistacuffs: The buck gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat.

  • Jr. Officer: A buck gains the Jr. Officer feat.

  • Big Game Hunter: A buck gains the Shikari feat.


Buck Bonus Feats:Edit

At 3rd level, the buck receives a teamwork or combat feat as a bonus feat. He must meet the prerequisites for this feat. At 8th level and every 5 levels thereafter, he gains another. Additionally, the buck counts his class level as his fighter level -3 for the purpose of qualifying for feats.


Holdings:Edit

A landed noble has many assets that he may call upon and ascertain in return for his service. At 4th level, the buck may select one of the following benefits. At 9th level and every 5 levels thereafter, he may select an additional benefit from his increasing standing.


  • Officer’s Pay: The buck gains a wage of 5 gp x his buck level per week. This money is delivered to him in a convenient manner (letter, at a bank, etc.), and its use is up to his discretion. This holding may be selected more than once. Each time it is selected, it increases the base pay (5 gp) by an additional +5 gp.

  • Noble Steed: The buck gains the service of a loyal and trusty steed to carry him into battle. This mount functions as a druid's animal companion, using the buck's level -3 as his effective druid level. The creature must be one that he is capable of riding and is suitable as a mount. A Medium buck can select a camel or a horse. A Small buck can select a pony or wolf, but can also select a boar or a dog if he is at least 4th level. The GM might approve other animals as suitable mounts. The mount is always considered combat trained and begins play with Light Armor Proficiency as a bonus feat. The buck's mount does not gain the share spells special ability. The buck's bond with his mount is strong, with the pair learning to anticipate each other's moods and moves. Should a buck's mount die, the buck may find another mount to serve him after 1 week of mourning. This new mount does not gain the link, evasion, devotion, or improved evasion special abilities until the next time the buck gains a level.

  • Grant of Arms: The buck gains a powerful weapon unique to his estate, family, and/or nation. Often times, a weapon granted by this holding has a special quality or relevance to the game world. This weapon has an enhancement bonus (or special abilities whose total bonus equal the enhancement bonus) that is not in excess of 1/5th his buck level (minimum +1). The enhancement to this weapon may be changed when the buck gains a new level. (However, he should endeavor to keep a degree of consistency between his choices.) The buck gains a +2 on critical confirmation rolls with this weapon. This weapon does not grant the benefit to anyone else, except those who share his lineage. Should the weapon be destroyed or damaged, the buck loses the use of this weapon for 30 days or until he gains a level, whichever comes first. During this 30-day period, the buck takes a -1 penalty on attack and weapon damage rolls. After such time, he may claim a different weapon from his holdings. A buck who makes a habit of not being careful with his ancestral weapons may find himself prohibited from gaining a new one.

  • Purchase Commission: The buck can use his holdings to secure a higher rank, position, or other sort of status that grants him military power. This affords him the trappings of the office, as well as the ability to issue orders. As a standard action, the buck can grant a single teamwork feat to all allies within 30 feet who can see and hear him. Allies retain the use of this bonus feat for 3 rounds plus 1 round for every two levels the buck possesses. Allies do not need to meet the prerequisites of these bonus feats. The buck can use purchase commission 2 times per day. The buck may select this holding more than once. Each time he takes it after the first, he gains 2 additional uses per day and his status climbs to a higher status (generally an increase in his rank).

  • Personal Charge: The buck can use his holdings to secure a coat of arms and have it displayed when his presence is officially called for. In addition, when the buck is displaying his heraldry (either on his person, on a flag, etc.), he grants a morale bonus to all allies who can see him on Will saves against fear equal to 1/4th his buck level.

  • Writ of Bounty: The buck can use his holdings to secure a writ of bounty. This affords him the ability to track, detain, and injure those whose apprehension has been requested by the buck’s sovereign, a duly appointed agent of the sovereign, or the law (such as a police officer or local elected leader). In addition, this grants the buck a morale bonus on attack rolls against creatures who share the buck’s own subtype equal to 1/4th his buck level.

  • Retinue: The buck can use his holdings to retain the services of a few attendances and personal companions. This grants him the Leadership feat and a +2 bonus to his leadership score.


Call To Arms (Ex):Edit

At 6th level, the buck and all allies within 30 feet of him gain a +2 bonus on Initiative checks. At 11th level, this bonus increases to a +4 bonus. At 16th level, the buck and his allies within 30 feet of him may always act during the surprise round.


King and Country (Ex):Edit

At 20th level, the buck automatically confirms critical hits with martial weapons and firearms. In addition, all allies within 30 feet of the buck automatically stabilize.


Race, Societies, and BucksEdit

Not every society has the equivalent of a buck. They fit best in an ageing feudal society or other sorts of monarchy with a prominent upper middle class of military inclination. Humans, halflings, elves, dwarves, and even drow typically have bucks, but their roles vary. More socially fluid societies, such as gnomes, who tend towards chaotic alignments often lack bucks, and smaller tribal society are notably absent of them. A buck needs a large and entrenched upper middle class to exist. For example, a buck’s holding class feature would not make as much sense in a small, nomadic, destitute, or tribal society. Theirs is a tale of kings and courtly life held in contrast to the brutality of warfare and death.

Fantasy Race Titles: Laird (Dwarven), Callo or Caun (Elven/ Drow), Schmit (Tao Reavæn), Lash Brandisher (Hobgoblin), and Baronet (Halfling).


Buck Favored Class Bonuses

Race

Benefit

Source

Humans

+1/4 to attack rolls with soldiering weapons.

Core Rulebook

Dwarves

+1/4 to attack rolls with dwarven racial weapons.

Core Rulebook

Halfling

+2.5 feet to mount’s base land speed from the holding class feature.*

Core Rulebook

Elf

+1/4 to hit with elven racial weapons.

Core Rulebook

Tao Reavæn

+1/4 to Fortitude saves.

Little Red Goblin Games Racial Guide I

Drow

+1/3 to confirm critical hits with soldiering weapons. (maximum bonus of +5). This bonus does not stack with Critical Focus.

Advanced Racial Guide

Hobgoblin

+1/4 to saves against fear and to the DC required for a creature to intimidate the hobgoblin.

Advanced Racial Guide

Dhampir

Add +1/3 on critical hit confirmation rolls made with firearms (maximum bonus of +5). This bonus does not stack with Critical Focus.

Advanced Racial Guide


  • Please note that Pathfinder only recognizes increments of 5 feet (22.5 feet is the same as 20 feet in terms of movement).

Section 15 OGL Copyright Declaration:Edit

• Open Game License v 1.0a Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

• System Reference Document. Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors

Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, based on material by E. Gary Gygax and

Dave Arneson.

• Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. Copyright 2009, Paizo Inc.; Author: Jason Bulmahn,

based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.

• The Book of Experimental Might. Copyright 2008, Monte J. Cook. All rights reserved.

• Tome of Horrors. Copyright 2002, Necromancer Games, Inc.; Authors: Scott

Greene, with Clark Peterson, Erica Balsley, Kevin Baase, Casey Christofferson, Lance

Hawvermale, Travis Hawvermale, Patrick Lawinger, and Bill Webb; Based on original

content from TSR.

• Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Advanced Player’s Guide. © 2010, Paizo Publishing,

LLC; Author: Jason Bulmahn

• Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Advanced Race Guide. © 2012, Paizo Publishing,

LLC; Authors: Dennis Baker, Jesse Benner, Benjamin Bruck, Jason Bulmahn, Adam

Daigle, Jim Groves, Tim Hitchcock, Hal MacLean, Jason Nelson, Stephen Radney-

MacFarland, Owen K.C. Stephens, Todd Stewart, and Russ Taylor.

• Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Ultimate Combat. © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC;

• Pathfinder® Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Magic™. © 2012, Paizo Publishing, LLC

• Little Red Goblin Games Race Guide I, Little Red Goblin Games LLC, Authors: Scott

Gladstein, Caleb Alysworth

• Politics & Power 2014, Little Red Goblin Games LLC, Authors: Scott Gladstein,

Christos Gurd, Dayton Johnson, Caleb Alysworth, Jeremiah Zerby

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