Beastmaster, Meet the Henchmaster

Reskinning is all the rage among kids these days. It’s just the process of replacing the colour/fluff description of something in the game while keeping the underlying mechanics.

While reading the Beastmaster Ranger class build in Martial Power, I was struck by the idea that the beasts did not, in fact, need to be beasts at all. They could be people. And thus the Henchmaster Ranger class build was born.

Don't like the skin you're in?

I could have just stopped there, of course, and there’s no reason you can’t stop there, too. Take the boar, reskin it as Jofur the Hairy Barbarian, and you’re done.

Or you can go further. I’ve statted up some henchmen of the various PC classes so that they’re compatible with the existing beasts. Henchmen, unlike beasts, do not have low-light vision by default. In all other ways, they should be treated as beast companions.

Among other things, this means they can be raised from the dead for a lousy 50 gp with a first-level ritual. Sometimes it’s good to be a henchman.

Dragonborn Mercenary
Ability Scores: Strength 16, Constitution 16, Dexterity 14, Intelligence 8, Wisdom 8, Charisma 10
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares
Defenses: AC 14 + level, Fortitude 12 + level, Reflex 10 + level, Will 12 + level
Hit Points: 14 + 6 per level
Attack Bonus: Level + 3
Damage: 1d8
Melee Basic Attack: Longsword; level + 3 vs. AC; 1d8 + Strength modifier damage.
Dragonborn Fury: The dragonborn mercenary gains a +1 racial bonus to attack rolls while bloodied.
Heart of the Boar: For the purposes of ranger beast exploits, the dragonborn mercenary is considered a boar.
Trained Skill: Intimidate

Dwarf Henchman
Senses: Low-light vision
Ability Scores: Strength 14, Constitution 16, Dexterity 12, Intelligence 8, Wisdom 10, Charisma 8
Size: Medium
Speed: 5 squares
Defenses: AC 12 + level, Fortitude 14 + level, Reflex 10 + level, Will 12 + level
Saving Throws: +5 against poison effects
Hit Points: 16 + 8 per level
Attack Bonus: Level + 1
Damage: 1d12
Melee Basic Attack: Warhammer; level + 1 vs. AC; 1d12 + Strength modifier damage.
Heart of the Bear: For the purposes of ranger beast exploits, the dwarf henchmen is considered a bear.
Trained Skills: Endurance

Eladrin Apprentice
Senses: Low-light vision
Ability Scores: Strength 12, Constitution 12, Dexterity 18, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 8, Charisma 8
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares
Defenses: AC 14 + level, Fortitude 10 + level, Reflex 14 + level, Will 12 + level
Hit Points: 12 + 4 per level
Attack Bonus: Level + 4
Damage: 1d6
Melee Basic Attack: Club; level + 4 vs. AC; 1d6 + Dexterity modifier damage.
Fey Step: The eladrin apprentice can teleport 5 squares once per encounter.
Heart of the Raptor: For the purposes of ranger exploits, the eladrin apprentice is considered a raptor.
Trained Skill: Arcana, History

Elf Hireling
Senses: Low-light vision
Ability Scores: Strength 14, Constitution 12, Dexterity 16, Intelligence 8, Wisdom 10, Charisma 8
Size: Medium
Speed: 7 squares
Defenses: AC 14 + level, Fortitude 11 + level, Reflex 13 + level, Will 12 + level
Hit Points: 14 + 6 per level
Attack Bonus: Level + 3
Damage: 1d8
Melee Basic Attack: Scimitar; level + 3 vs. AC; 1d8 + Dexterity modifier damage.
Group Awareness: Non-elf allies within 5 squares gain a +1 racial bonus to Perception checks.
Wild Step: The elf hireling ignores difficult terrain when he shifts.
Heart of the Cat: For the purposes of ranger beast exploits, the elf hireling is considered a cat.
Trained Skills: Athletics, Stealth

Half-Elf Squire
Senses: Low-light vision
Ability Scores: Strength 14, Constitution 16, Dexterity 14, Intelligence 8, Wisdom 8, Charisma 10
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares
Defenses: AC 14 + level, Fortitude 12 + level, Reflex 13 + level, Will 12 + level
Hit Points: 14 + 6 per level
Attack Bonus: Level + 3
Damage: 1d8
Melee Basic Attack: Mace; level + 3 vs. AC; 1d8 + Strength modifier damage.
Group Diplomacy: Allies within 10 squares gain a +1 racial bonus to Diplomacy checks.
Opportunity Attacks: The half-elf squire gains a bonus to opportunity attack damage rolls equal to his Strength modifier.
Heart of the Serpent: For the purposes of ranger exploits, the half-elf squire is considered a serpent.
Trained Skill: Diplomacy, Insight

Halfling Sellsword
Ability Scores: Strength 14, Constitution 12, Dexterity 16, Intelligence 8, Wisdom 8, Charisma 10
Size: Small
Speed: 6 squares
Defenses: AC 14 + level, Fortitude 11 + level, Reflex 12 + level, Will 12 + level
Saving Throws: +5 against fear effects
Hit Points: 14 + 6 per level
Attack Bonus: Level + 3
Damage: 1d8
Melee Basic Attack: Short sword; level + 3 vs. AC; 1d8 + Dexterity modifier damage.
Nimble Reaction: The halfling sellsword gains a +2 racial bonus to AC against opportunity attacks.
Heart of the Spider: For the purposes of ranger exploits, the halfling sellsword is considered a spider.
Trained Skills: Acrobatics

Human Spear-Carrier
Ability Scores: Strength 16, Constitution 16, Dexterity 14, Intelligence 8, Wisdom 8, Charisma 8
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares
Defenses: AC 15 + level, Fortitude 12 + level, Reflex 12 + level, Will 12 + level
Hit Points: 14 + 6 per level
Attack Bonus: Level + 3
Damage: 1d8
Melee Basic Attack: Longspear; Reach 2; level + 3 vs. AC; 1d8 + Strength modifier damage.
Opportunity Attacks: A human spear-carrier gains a +2 bonus to the attack roll when making an opportunity attack.
Heart of the Lizard: For the purposes of ranger exploits, the human spear-carrier is considered a lizard.
Trained Skills: Athletics, Endurance

Tiefling Cutthroat
Senses: Low-light vision
Ability Scores: Strength 14, Constitution 14, Dexterity 14, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 8, Charisma 10
Size: Medium
Speed: 6 squares
Defenses: AC 14 + level, Fortitude 12 + level, Reflex 12 + level, Will 13 + level
Resist: 5 plus half-level versus fire
Hit Points: 14 + 6 per level
Attack Bonus: Level + 3
Damage: 1d8
Melee Basic Attack: Sickle; level + 3 vs. AC; 1d8 + Strength modifier damage.
Bloodhunt: The tiefling cutthroat gains a +1 racial bonus to attack rolls against bloodied foes.
Combat Advantage: When the tiefling cutthroat has combat advantage against a target, he gains a bonus to damage rolls against the target equal to his Strength modifier.
Heart of the Wolf: For the purposes of ranger beast exploits, the tiefling cutthroat is considered a wolf.
Trained Skills: Stealth

I haven’t playtested these henchmen, but I believe they’re in the right ballpark. If you decide to give them a spin, I’d love to hear how it works out.

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One Response to “Beastmaster, Meet the Henchmaster”

  1. EN World D&D / RPG News Says:

    Linked to by the ENWorld thread companions

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