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Legendary Hybrids: Doomguard (PFRPG) PDF

***** (based on 1 rating)

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Doomed to Die

Legendary Hybrids: Doomguard is the latest volume in our series of class-focused player supplements, introducing a new series of hybrid classes like those in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Advanced Class Guide that blend the core elements of two different base classes into a unique synergy all their own. The doomguard brings you a 20-level hybrid class that combines the deadly hunting skills, specialized combat prowess, and focused wrath of the ranger with the glorious defiance and battlefield of the cavalier, with a special twist: a terrible and dire doom that follows him like an oracle's curse and binds him to his fated enemies at whose hands he is doomed to die! You can select from 45 different dooms, from maimed and blinded to powerless prophet and stigmata! You'll also find favored class bonuses for core races and a quartet of amazing archetypes, from the dauntless and daring challenger, the defensive bulwark of the doomwarden, the fey foundling orphan with a forgotten lineage but connections to the mystical world of the fey, and the dread raven banner with a death wish that defies all who stand in his path. If you've ever wanted to play a warrior with a dark destiny crawling from behind and even as it drives him onwards to meet his fate for death or glory, pick up this 38-page Pathfinder character class supplement today and Make Your Game Legendary!

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Doomguard Review

*****

We love to be doomed.

Well, not in reality, of course, but in game? Having a character who has some terrible fate over their head to strive against provides some amazing chances for game drama. Some of the greatest heroes of myth and media labored under dread fates – be they Norse heroes like Grettir the Strong, or modern creations like Frodo and the One Ring, they stick out in our minds long after the tale is done. However until now there have been only a few ways to reproduce this in Pathfinder. The oracle class has curses. Some story feats allow you to face (or recover from) horrid events. And some magic items and spells can make your character miserable for years. But there was never a class that revolved around facing your doom. Until now.

The latest in Legendary Games' Hybrid Classes, Doomguard is a 37-page PDF. We get one page each for the cover, credits, references, table of contents, a welcome page, a what-you-will-find-inside, and the back cover. There are also two full-page pieces of art, leaving 28 pages of crunchy content.

The base class is a cross between the cavalier and ranger. You get favored class bonuses for all seven of the core races. You can issue something like a cavalier's challenge, here called defiance, against anyone who attacked you in the last 24 hours. When you do you also gain temporary hit points if they injured you, but only against them. How dare they interfere with your fate?

You also get a fated enemy, the foe who will destroy you one day. You can choose any monster type, but humanoids besides giant have to be chosen by class. Depending on who or what you choose, you get bonus skills and bonuses on attack rolls, combat maneuvers, and opposed skill checks. You can also use your defiance against them without it counting against normal uses per day. In return they have an easier time hitting you. And if they kill you, you are dead forever. You also can't inflict non-lethal damage on them and vice-versa. When you fight your fated enemy, someone has to die.

The doomguard also gets the bonus combat feats of the ranger, and increased resistance to things like curses or magical attempts to turn him aside from his path. Your charge attacks are better and you can track the target of your defiance with greater speed. You also gain a companion – either a cohort, an animal companion, or a familiar. You can go for Improved Familiar too if you like. The doomguard basically can't be stopped when they choose an enemy to slay, and they can eventually inflict the nastier aspects of their doom on their fated enemy, cut right through all their defenses, and permanently destroy them even if they can normally return like a lich.

And oh yes, you get a Doom.

Dooms are basically like oracle curses, but more suited to martial characters. That said some look like they'd work fine for an oracle. We also get a list of 45 dooms, so you'll have a fine selection to choose from. Like the Animal Transformation doom – every time you feel stress, you turn into any Small or smaller animal until it's over. Or Bondage, leaving you bound with blinders or gagged or hobbled, which can make life difficult. A Mutant appears like an inhuman monster with associated social problems but gets summoner eidolon evolution points to represent their increasingly twisted form as they rise in level. You can be a Leper, or Maimed, or suffer the heartbreak of Reverse Aging. Where you start out at Venerable with both the mental stat bonuses and the physical stat penalties from the start, and slowly youthen to adult. You can be so Solipsistic you can literally ignore some attacks because the real world just doesn't matter to you. You can be a humanoid beast, or be mad, or hear the voices of fiends dinning in your ears. They may have missed some sort of a horrible fate, but I can't see where!

All of these dooms provide bonuses along with their drawbacks at 1st, 5th, 10th, and 15th levels. Annoyingly to me, the PDF mentions a 'Cursed' feat that I assume would allow anyone other than a Doomguard to take one of these charming conditions. However it's not listed anywhere in the PDF, though 'a Doom for a feat' isn't hard to figure.

We also get four archetypes. The charismatic Challenger fights in light armor and inspires his fellow adventurers like a bard. The slow and steady Doomwarden gets to use heavy armor, can learn armor mastery feats from the Armor Master's Handbook, and can reduce damage when taking a blow from someone they use their defiance one. This last is listed as something gained at 12th level, and while it doesn't say if it replaces the normal Doomguard 12th level class ability, it seems likely that it does. The Fey Foundling can only use non-metal or mithral armor. In exchange he learns how to communicate with the fey, lure them in for a meeting, and masters their secret backroads through reality. The Raven Banner is a classic Norse hero, defying death to make an end the skalds will sing of and getting a cavalier's banner to inspire their allies and followers. At high enough level he can even use a breath of life effect if killed by someone other than his fated enemy. How can you fall to a lesser opponent, after all?

Really, I think this is a great class for players who want to have a character that either embraces their fate or defies it to the end. The list of Dooms alone is amazing and can be very inspiring for characters. Just glancing through them was giving me ideas for characters with this class. I'm giving the Doomguard five stars and I hope you'll like it as much when you get it.


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