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Supporting Roles: Commander & Centurion $3.00 $2.25
Publisher: Amora Game
by Thilo G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/04/2013 05:30:03

This pdf is 11 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving 8 pages of content for new class and a PrC, so let's check out the Commander!

The Commander class gets d10, 4+Int skills per level, full BAB, good will- and fort-saves, proficiency with simple and martial weapons as well as all armors and shields except tower shields. Beyond that, the class is all about commanding troops in battle and enhancing allies.

Commanders have a commanding presence aura of 30 ft around them, which expands by yet another 30 ft. every five levels and works only if the commander is not paralyzed, petrified etc. and when allies can see or hear him. Allies within the aura also gain a +1 morale bonus to initiative an fear-based saves, which scales by +1 whenever the aura-size increases, which it does by30 ft. every 5 levels.

Now tactical strike is interesting - as a standard melee or ranged attack action, the commander can perform an attack that also acts as an aid another to an ally adjacent to the foe the commander attacked. Now that the ability has been stream-lined, its wording is much clearer and more precise.

Commanders may now also give Speeches - 1 + Cha-mod times and an additional 2 times per level beyond the first. Speeches are a subset of direct orders and their benefits last for one round, which allow the commander to use aid another at range and via Perform (Oratory) versus DC 10 as a standard action. Overall, these speeches are vastly superior in their presentation to the commander's first iteration - their intended benefits are clear and unambiguous. A total of 10 different speeches are provided, with the latter ones requiring a preset number of ranks in Perform (Oratory). My only gripe is that Words of Courage grants the Diehard-feat as well as +2 to Str and Con, but does not specify whether the hit points gained from the con-increase behave like the temporary hitpoints of the barbarian rage or not- here minor clarification would be in order.

Starting at second level and every even level thereafter, the commander now gets access to tactics - these are essentially talents for the class and a total of 23 are provided. Mechanically, most of them allow the commander to add his aid another bonuses to uncommon checks - From helping with the handling of siege engines to concentration of allies to granting an ally an AoO and enhancing an ally's CMB and CMD, they are actually interesting now. Some deviate from the assist-mechanic and two in particular are interesting: One allows the commander the addition of int-mod to all saves, which is a bit powerful for my tastes. Most interesting, at least imho, is Cunning Response, which grants the commander int-mod additional immediate actions per round - which is relevant for battle cries.

Starting at 4th level and every 4 levels after that an additional time per day, the commander may activate the ability as a swift action. Once activated "Battle-Cry mode" lasts until the end of combat. When activated thus, the commander may, as an immediate action, react to himself or an ally in sight being hit by attacks, spells or spell-like abilities with issuing a battle cry - 6 are provided and allow for e.g. a 5-foot movement after killing a foe and delivering an AoO to adjacent foes, withdraw as an immediate action and move towards downed foes.

Starting at 5th level, Commanders may now grant allies access to teamwork feats they possess by either substituting the tactical strike or direct order benefits.

At 8th level, the class starts to become interesting and complex: Press the advantage allows the commander to issue multiple orders, tactics or teamwork orders to their allies with a single application of their abilities - up to 4 at once at 18th level. And yes, they may spread the benefits between allies if they so choose. perhaps the mechanically most interesting ability of the class.

At 10th level, the speeches last longer and at 14th level, he may designate an ally as field officer and lend one of his direct orders, speeches or tactics to an ally. Very cool!

We also get 5 new feats: -At them, Men (Teamwork): Charge with an ally simultaneously at the lower initiative. + 10 ft when charging, -Band of Brothers (Teamwork): +1 to AC and attacks when adjacent to an ally, up to + 3, stacks with shield wall. -Extra Speeches: +2 speeches per day. -Extra Tactics: +1 tactics. -Hold the Line: When you or your ally are being charged by a foe, your weapons gain the brace quality and the enemy takes a -4 penalty to AC instead of -2. -With your shield or on it (Teamwork): When holding a shield adjacent to an ally holding a shield as well, gain + 2 to saves vs. spells and fear-effects.

The pdf also provides us the Centurion-PrC (not only for commanders - the centurion just needs to have led a unit to victory, have a teamwork-feat and some moderate requirements), who gets d10, 4+Int skills per level, full BAB, medium fort and will-saves, and a teamwork-feat every odd level.

The revised centurion gets access to solo tactics and a command radius that starts at 20 ft and expands over the 10 levels to 60 ft. The allies inside this radius may benefit from his team tactician ability - granting all allies in the radius access to one of his teamwork feats for class level rounds or until he issues a new teamwork feat. This increases to 2 and 3 teamwork feats at levels 4 and 8 of the PrC respectively. At 5th level, in yet another rather cool ability, he may shape the radius of his aura to a cone or line, which is actually a rather neat idea! The capstone lets him choose an ally's initiative and allows him and allies in his aura to act normally in a surprise round.

Conclusion: Editing and formatting in this revised version of the pdf are vastly improved - I noticed no significant glitches that would have hampered my understanding of the book. Layout adheres to a relatively printer-friendly two-column standard and the pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience, which is nice. Artworks are full color, ok stock - nothing to complain about at this price-point.

All right, the first iteration of this pdf was a train-wreck. to cut a long ramble short: This one isn't. While there are already two classes out there dealing with the concept of the commander, SGG's War Master and DSP's Tactician, both are different: The War Master is slightly dated, having been created before the advent of teamwork-feats and the tactician is focused on psionics. Thus, the commander as a mundane battlefield leader has his place - especially since this iteration of the class has managed to make the expansion of the aid another action and the benefits granted both sufficiently significant and balanced to make this class a viable option. While here and there the wording could be slightly more concise, for the first time Amora Games' pdf manages to get the terminology and rules-language right in a way that is not ambiguous and as precise as the complex rules-adjustments and options that classes like these require. In fact, this revised edition not only feels much more concise, it actually brings some interesting design-ideas to the table in the way how the respective abilities are handled.

Much like Rocks Fall Games recently revised "Dark Totem Part I", this revision has just about nothing in common with its abysmal first version, getting the concepts they tried to get across RIGHT. So much so, in fact, that I'm sincerely hoping that this reflects Amora Games' new quality standard, for if it does, the announced idea of a war-campaign may actually be a very fulfilling experience. Whereas before neither class nor PrC has any reason to exist, this revision made both stand out and me actually consider playing one of the classes herein - I believe they can now be quite some fun, especially if you ever wanted to play concept-wise in the equivalent of a Bridgeburner-like elite unit.

While not yet perfect, this pdf comes at a very low price and delivers in the revised edition interesting mechanics you might wish to scavenge - at the very latest when En World's War of the Burning Sky is converted to PFRPG (they met the KS-stretch-goal, after all!) and as a DM you want to add some oomph to the Ragessian commanders. If the idea of a non-magical commander and expanding the aid another action to make strategist-style warriors work even remotely interests you, then I whole-heartedly suggest you check out this revised pdf - my final verdict will be 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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