Medicine Brave (Original Base Class) Needs balancing!


Homebrew and House Rules


Medicine Brave

Class Features

Tribal Name:

As an acknowledged adult of your tribe (or a newly recognized member), you have been given a name that marks you with distinction. You gain a +2 bonus to the class skill of your choice. Starting at 1st level, you may take 5 on skill checks for this particular skill. At 6th level, you may take ten. At 11th level, you may take 15. And at 15th level, you may take 20. The Tribal Name is always associated with the skill it relates to. A name such as “Wild Horse” may grant the bonus to Handle Animal or Ride, while a name like “Quiet Viper” may relate to Stealth.

Medicine:

The word “medicine” is a common tongue word used to describe the subtle mystic power of the Medicine Brave. For the Brave, all ability scores are equally important, for they help make up his Medicine Score. A Brave’s Medicine score is calculated by adding all the ability scores together and dividing by 6 (rounding up). The Brave’s Medicine score then functions in place of his weakest ability score. At 10th level, the Brave’s Medicine also functions in place of his second weakest ability score. And at 20th level, his third weakest. For example, a Brave with the following scores: Str15 Dex13 Con10 Int8 Wis17 Cha14 has a Medicine of 13. And so, his lowest ability score (Int 8) effectively becomes 13. A Brave’s Medicine is not effected by temporary ability losses or gains, but it is effected by permanent effects such as ability enhancing magic items or permanent ability drain.

Counting Coup:

Medicine Braves take great pride in committing clever or daring acts of bravery called Counting Coup (pronounced “Coo”). These acts come in many forms, such as sneaking up on an enemy, stealing an enemy’s horse without getting caught, or landing the first strike in an encounter. A Medicine Brave gains a new coup at levels 1,4,7,9,12,15,&18.

-Sneaking Scare:

By making a successful stealth check against an enemy, you are able to frighten them stiff. The enemy must be unaware of your presence until you make a successful touch attack against them. Once the touch attack is made, you make an Intimidation check. If the check succeeds, the enemy is treated as frightened instead of shaken.

-Improved Sneaking Scare:

The same as Sneaking Scare, only the target is panicked instead of frightened. The Medicine Brave must already have Sneaking Scare to gain this coup.

-Greater Sneaking Scare:

The same as Improved Sneaking Scare, only the target is cowering instead of panicked. The Medicine Brave must already have Improved Sneaking Scare to gain this coup.

-Superior Sneaking Scare:

The same as Greater Sneaking Scare, only the target is prone and unconscious instead of cowering. The Medicine Brave must already have Greater Sneaking Scare to gain this coup.

-Steal Mount:

By making a successful stealth check through enemy territory, you gain a bonus to handle animal and ride checks equal to your level when stealing an enemy’s mount.

-First Strike:

If you are able to strike and damage an enemy in melee before they hit you, you gain a +1 luck bonus to AC and melee attack rolls against the target for the rest of the encounter. This bonus does not count for reach weapons.

-First Strike (Mass):

If you defeat an enemy who fell victim to your First Strike coup, you may maintain your +1 luck bonus to AC and melee attacks against that enemy’s allies for the rest of the encounter. Additionally, you gain a +2 damage bonus to targets that you hit with a melee attack before they can hit you.

-Medicine Aura:

By daring your enemies to attack you with their ranged weapons, you humiliate them with the power of your presence. As a full round action, you stand within range of your enemies weapons and taunt them. For the rest of the encounter, you gain +1 to your AC against ranged attacks every time an enemy misses you with a ranged attack.

- Improved Medicine Aura:

By daring your enemies to attack you with their area attacks, you have a greater chance of coming out unharmed. As a full round action, you stand within range of your enemy’s area effects and taunt them. For the rest of the encounter, you gain a bonus equal to your level on saves made against your enemy’s area affects. The Medicine Brave must already have Medicine Aura to select this coup.

-Bear Wrestler:

If you successfully grapple a foe that is at least one size category larger that you, you may add a +2 bonus to CMB and CMD for grapple checks for the rest of the encounter.

-Defend the Fallen:

You gain temporary hit points equal to your medicine modifier x level when defending a helpless ally.

-Avenge the Fallen:

You gain a +2 damage bonus to any creature that killed your ally. The damage is +3 if the ally was a member of your tribe.

Merciless Victory:

You or your mount gain 10 feet to your speed when chasing down a retreating enemy.

War Paint:

When preparing for battle, a Medicine Brave can apply natural paints to his face and body to grant him luck. There are four colors, each representing different aspects of existence and granting different bonuses. At 2nd level, a brave may only gain the effect of one color per day. At 6th level, he may use two colors. At 11th, three colors. And at 16th, four colors. Applying war paint takes ten minutes of preparation and can be done once per day.

-Red is the color of success, confidence, and passion. It grants a +1 luck bonus to all charisma-based skills, a +1 damage bonus when confirming critical hits, and a +1 bonus to will saves. At 9th level these bonuses increase to +2, and +3 at 15th level.

-Blue is the color of doubt, wariness, and sorrow. It grants a +1 luck bonus to wisdom-based skills, +1 to stabilize when below zero hit points, and a +1 bonus to reflex saves. At 9th level these bonuses increase to +2, and +3 at 15th level.

-Black is the color of death and destruction. It grants a +1 luck bonus to stealth checks, a +1 luck bonus to intimidate checks when attempting a Sneaking Scare Coup, and a +1 damage bonus when attacking a helpless target. At 9th level these bonuses increase to +2, and +3 at 15th level.

-White is the color of life and creation. It grants a +1 luck bonus to strength-based skills, a +1 bonus to strength checks, and a +1 bonus to fortitude saves. At 9th level these bonuses increase to +2, and +3 at 15th level.

Medicine Feather :

At 2nd level and every other lever thereafter, a Medicine brave adorns himself, his armor or clothing, or a weapon with an enchanted feather created from his daring deeds. Each new feather grants the brave a new trait of his or her choosing.

Tomahawk:

The Brave can treat any kind of axe as a throwing weapon with a range of 25ft.

Warpath:

When moving in a straight line, the brave may divide all of their attacks between more than one target when using a melee weapon. This provokes no attacks of opportunity when entering a threatened square. This feature can be used number of times per day equal to the brave’s Medicine Modifier.

Rain Dance:

By making a perform dance check (DC20) during a one hour ritual, the Medicine Brave can make it rain for a number of hours equal to their Medicine Modifier. After the ritual is completed, the Brave is fatigued for one hour.

Alignment: Any

Flint Affinity:

Weapons you craft from flint and use in combat do not carry any of the attack penalties of stone weapons. You can craft flint weapons in half the time and with a third of the cost when crafting flint weapons. When wielding a flint weapon, its hardness is increased by your medicine modifier.

Nature’s Sign:

As a Brave gains levels they can also receive and interpret mystic visions and the deeper implications of natural phenomena. They gain spell-like abilities, each usable once per day. Level 3-Guidance, level 5-Comprehend Languages, level 7-Locate Object, level 9-Tongues, level 11- Locate Creature, level 13-Contact Other Plan, level 15-Legend Lore, level 17-Vision, level 19-Discern Location, level 20-Foresight.

Brother Eagle:

You gain an eagle as an animal companion. You may speak with your eagle at will as with the Speak with Animals spell.

Thunder Bird:

Your Brother Eagle gains the Air subtype and becomes a native outsider. It becomes immune to electricity, gains +10 to fly speed, and its natural attacks deal 1d6 electricity damage.

Bareback Rider:

You can ride a mount bareback as if using a riding saddle. At 12th level can ride a mount bareback as if using a military saddle. At 17th level, your chances of not falling off your mount while unconscious increases to 90%.

White Buffalo:

You behold a white buffalo, either in a dream or in real life. To your people, the legendary creature is bringer of wisdom and good luck. Your Medicine goes up by 2 points regardless of what your ability score average is.

Coup Stick:

You fashion a special club that grants a +2 bonus touch or melee attacks while performing a coup. The club a grants a +2 bonus to diplomacy checks when used on druids, barbarians, rangers, and other wild inhabitants.

Smoke Signal:

Using a common campfire and a blanket, you can send simple personally encoded messages over a great distance. These messages can only be understood by you and your allies. Messages include “Attention!”, “All is well”, “Danger”, “Proceed”, and “Retreat”. The maximum distance of smoke signaling is one mile per level.

Head Dress:

You earn a great crown of feathers that indicates you as the primary decision maker of your tribe. This grants you one of three abilities.

-The Leadership Feat with a +2 bonus to your leadership score and with no penalty for having an animal companion.

-A +8 skill bonus to diplomacy, intimidate, and to the skill relating to your tribal name. If your tribal name relates to the intimidate skill, choose a different skill to apply the added bonus.

-Dreaded Foe: Choose a certain type of foe that you have battled in the past. You gain a +8 bonus to your AC, saving throws, and attack rolls made against that type.

Class Skills
Climb(Str), Craft(Int), Handle Animal(Cha), Intimidate(Cha), Knowledge (geography)(Int), Knowledge (nature)(Int), Perception(Wis), Perform (Dance, Oratory, Percussion, or Sing)(Cha), Ride(Dex), Stealth(Dex), Survival(Wis), Swim(Str).

Skill Ranks per Level: 4+Int modifier

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Medicine Braves are proficient with all simple weapons, plus the Throwing Axe, Handaxe, Battleaxe, Greataxe, Greatclub, and Shortbows. Medicine Braves are also proficient with light armor and hide armor, but not with shields.

Hit Die: d10

Base Attack Bonus: Good

Fortitude: Poor

Reflex: Good

Will: Good

Medicine Brave
Level BAB Fort Ref Will Special
1 +1 +0 +2 +2 Medicine, Tribal Name, Counting Coup
2 +2 +0 +3 +3 War Paint (one color), Feather
3 +3 +1 +3 +3 Coup, Nature’s Sign, Coup Stick
4 +4 +1 +4 +4 Feather, Merciless Victory
5 +5 +1 +4 +4 Coup, Brother Eagle
6 +6 +2 +5 +5 Feather, War Paint (two colors)
7 +7 +2 +5 +5 Coup, Rain Dance
8 +8 +2 +6 +6 Feather, Bareback Rider
9 +9 +3 +6 +6 Coup, Smoke Signal
10 +10 +3 +7 +7 Feather, War Path
11 +11 +3 +7 +7 Coup, War Paint (three colors)
12 +12 +4 +8 +8 Feather
13 +13 +4 +8 +8 Coup, Flint Affinity
14 +14 +4 +9 +9 Feather,
15 +15 +5 +9 +9 Coup, Tomahawk
16 +16 +5 +10 +10 Feather, War Paint (four colors)
17 +17 +5 +10 +10 Coup, Thunder Bird
18 +18 +6 +11 +11 Feather, White Buffalo
19 +19 +6 +11 +11 Coup
20 +20 +6 +12 +12 Head Dress

Shadow Lodge

I'm confused as to what, exactly, the Medicine Feather does. It says you get a new trait of your choosing. But what are the traits to choose from?


Sphen wrote:
I'm confused as to what, exactly, the Medicine Feather does. It says you get a new trait of your choosing. But what are the traits to choose from?

Any trait that your race allows. You can find a list of such traits in the back of the Advanced Players Guide.

Shadow Lodge

You might want to reword that, just change it to racial trait. Other than that, I'm not very good at this, so I won't critique you any further.


If the Medicine Brave is designed to be a new base class, you should strike the parenthetical "or a newly recognized member" as a qualifier.
Better to let the Dances with Wolves plot hook work itself out in-game. Some players may like this class for a dip, it has some cool attributes.

The layout is a bit confusing, but there is a bunch of great stuff there.

The Medicine Score essentially replaces a dump stat- maybe instead make it an Exceptional, or better yet, a Supernatural Ability to substitute the Medicine score say 3x a day for any roll based on an ability score. I'd be hesitant to allow that as written (balance). Your presentation of the Medicine Score is great, too.

Some of your bonuses don't match the Pathfinder standards, but hey, that's homebrew. Take 5, for example, or the Head dress bonuses. PF has laid many bonuses out, it might be a matter of matching your idea/concept to existing material.

A fun class, I could even see it as a cornerstone to a Discovering-a-New-World-type campaign or even as a "new" Shoanti (or elven, dwarf, human, etc.) tribe. Thank you for sharing!


Dotting for later reading.


Arc, have you got this somewhere as a download-able pdf or something? I'd love to look it over at my leisure, but the messageboard entry is not so readable.

Speaking as a DM my first reaction was "That's broken!" so it's probably pretty fun for players; I'll see if anyone's interested. :)


Thank you for the comments and suggestions! Anyone who wishes to copy the text of this rough idea and format/balance it is more than welcome to do so. I like B.A. Ironskull's suggestion for balancing the Medicine Score.

I felt the need to make a class based on the Native American Plains Indian. RPG's have done a great job of making European and Asian-inspired classes. But with the advent of the Gunslinger, I thought making a Crazy Horse-like class was needed for the sake of cultural identity. Assuming that they are Druids or Barbarians just doesn't seem right. Ok enough ranting lol.


Dot for later.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

This is very overpowered, since alot of the bonuses granted by the different abilities stack with one another. This was pretty hard to read and understand, since italics and bold were not used and the formating is off. You need to work on making your language match the existing wording used in the rules. When listing the abilities of a class, it is best to list them in the order which they are gained. Overall I like the idea.

Tribal Name Lead off with the name affecting the skill rather than at the end. I would change the taking # to state the player could do so when normally not allowed to, since it scales with level, should not be to broken.

Medicine This ability is grossly overpowered, especially at first level. I would round down to prevent creative math to boost the number. especially since any character taking this class would have a single ability score of 5 if using point buy. The medicine ability score bonus could be used in place of the lowest ability score for the purpose of CMB/CMD, saving throw, or some other single category (not skill checks since war paint gives a skill bonus).

Counting Coup Most of these abilities are pretty good. But since you get them often in addition to other abilities, 2 good saves, and fast BAB; they should be no more powerful than a feat. The 4th coup should be at lvl 10 and every 3 thereafter, to maintain an even flow. You need more coups.
Sneaking Scare I would remove the touch attack and just require an Intimidate check from a square adjacent to the enemy. Otherwise it would make a nice addition to any spellcaster's repetoire.
Steal Mount An enemies territory is something not defined in the rules, instead use a distance with a known hostile enemy.
First Strike Maybe a circumstance bonus instead, since skill let you make the attack and not luck. Also wording needs clarified.
First Strike (Mass) The damage bonus makes this one a little too powerful, since you are already getting the AC and hit bonus.
Medicine Aura Name doesn't match the ability well. The bonus should have a type, most likely circumstance. Also the AC bonus gets big pretty fast, needs a limit.For example, if you are standing at the 10th range increment they already have a -20 to hit and you could have an battlement with 20 archers firing at you. If only one hits, your AC increaases by +19. You then move forward and stand at the base of the wall plucking off archers at will, cause they will not only hit on a critical and have no way of confirming the critical.
Improved Medicine Aura Wording again. Area effects? By standing still and taunting for a full round are you forgoing any Reflex saves?
Defend the Fallen Do you mean the medicine ability score modifier?

War Paint Uneven progression. I wish the bonus progression matched that of favored enemy. You have to pick which paint gets the bonus, rather than increasing at a predetermined level. Where is the yellow war paint? That way there is 5, so each attribute except Con would get a bonus to skill checks. Again with the luck bonus. A medicine man is about spiritual power, not luck. Maybe make it a sacred bonus? Also I would remove the bonus to saves if the Medicine grants a bonus to saves already.

Medicine Feather Since a trait is roughly equivalent to 1/2 a feat. You are giving away alot of extras as the character advances. Allowing a worn feather to give a trait is novel. Just limit the amount he can wear at one time. Traits are meant to be something a character has experienced in life and has affected them which fits with the Medicine Man learning from his experiences.

Tomahawk Way overpowered. Saves having to put the throwing weapon quality on any weapons. Plus the range is too long. Should be limited to weapons he is proficient with and appropriately sized.

Warpath Pretty cool, but wording is unclear. Maybe "As a full round action, the medicine man may move in a straight line up to his maximum movement. He may divide his full round attacks almongst any enemies adjacent to his line during his movement."

Rain Dance I can see this was added for flavour, but why? What if he is underground? What level does a druid or other caster get the ability to do something similar? Perform checks seems to easy. Medicine Modifier needs clarified.

Alignment This is in the wrong place. Not sure any is appropriate either since the medicine man appears to be a hoodlum. Stealing peoples horses, acting a fool for bonuses, running down retreating enemies, etc.

Flint Affinity Like this one, but just reducing the cost also reduces the time to make since money = time. Does this also affect the masterwork cost? It shouldnt' IMO.

Nature's Sign I like some of the spells choices. But the progression is off.

Brother Eagle As compared to a druid of what level?

White Buffalo NOOO! Medicine is too strong already!

Coup Stick No name for the bonus? The +2 for the attacks is a bit much. Why not have it function similar to a bonded weapon?

Smoke Signal The way it is written, my allies receive the signal even if they can not see the smokes origin. Maybe the wind blows it from the castles dungeon to where they are hiding in the woods?

Headress Not a fan...

Weapon and Armor Proficiency They get chainmail, but not wooden shields?

Liberty's Edge

This is the perfect example of why classes and abilities are generic rather than specifically fashioned after racial stereotypes.


Thomas LeBlanc wrote:

This is very overpowered, since alot of the bonuses granted by the different abilities stack with one another. This was pretty hard to read and understand, since italics and bold were not used and the formating is off. You need to work on making your language match the existing wording used in the rules. When listing the abilities of a class, it is best to list them in the order which they are gained. Overall I like the idea.

Tribal Name Lead off with the name affecting the skill rather than at the end. I would change the taking # to state the player could do so when normally not allowed to, since it scales with level, should not be to broken.

Medicine This ability is grossly overpowered, especially at first level. I would round down to prevent creative math to boost the number. especially since any character taking this class would have a single ability score of 5 if using point buy. The medicine ability score bonus could be used in place of the lowest ability score for the purpose of CMB/CMD, saving throw, or some other single category (not skill checks since war paint gives a skill bonus).

Counting Coup Most of these abilities are pretty good. But since you get them often in addition to other abilities, 2 good saves, and fast BAB; they should be no more powerful than a feat. The 4th coup should be at lvl 10 and every 3 thereafter, to maintain an even flow. You need more coups.
Sneaking Scare I would remove the touch attack and just require an Intimidate check from a square adjacent to the enemy. Otherwise it would make a nice addition to any spellcaster's repetoire.
Steal Mount An enemies territory is something not defined in the rules, instead use a distance with a known hostile enemy.
First Strike Maybe a circumstance bonus instead, since skill let you make the attack and not luck. Also wording needs clarified.
First Strike (Mass) The damage bonus makes this one a little too powerful, since you are already getting the AC and hit bonus....

Thank you very much for your in depth analysis. I admit that it needs formatting bad and that my number crunching needs work. Someday when I have time I will try to resubmit it.


There is a lot to like in the flavor of the class. It is influenced by a culture that sees little specificity in the genre. You might want to consider simplifying some of it for both the DM and the players- it can be a bit overwhelming.

For example, maybe change the Steal Mount bit to a generous Handle Animal bonus. The Medicine Brave seems like a class that plays best in the wilderness or on the frontier, and is more attuned to nature like a druid or ranger. This also removes negative connotations of the word 'steal' and broadens the use of the ability.

Maybe look at how the Rogue Talents are done by level, and use that as a guide for the Warpaint segment. I think that's a very cool component, so getting to add paint every X levels also lets me plan out how I want to use that ability. It's easier than tracking the different level bonuses of each paint, and perhaps then the bonuses bump up like the Ranger's Favored Enemy bonus.

To 2 of Thomas' points, it's not a 'hoodlum' the class is emulating, I think the OP was going for a Western-flick feel w/ some of the Class Abilities. I think that the lack of alignment restrictions is fine, base classes should not have them except in obvious cases (paladin, monk, anti-paladin, e.g.) And I think the 'no shields' but Medium armor is a good point- maybe light armor only if the OP does want to base it off of Native American culture (very few shields.) Perhaps add "primitive" weapons like the blowgun, darts, and spears?

And if you really want to spark interest, how about allowing a gunslinger-variant, once you get the base class settled?

Just a few thoughts, hope you find them useful.


B.A. Ironskull wrote:

There is a lot to like in the flavor of the class. It is influenced by a culture that sees little specificity in the genre. You might want to consider simplifying some of it for both the DM and the players- it can be a bit overwhelming.

For example, maybe change the Steal Mount bit to a generous Handle Animal bonus. The Medicine Brave seems like a class that plays best in the wilderness or on the frontier, and is more attuned to nature like a druid or ranger. This also removes negative connotations of the word 'steal' and broadens the use of the ability.

Maybe look at how the Rogue Talents are done by level, and use that as a guide for the Warpaint segment. I think that's a very cool component, so getting to add paint every X levels also lets me plan out how I want to use that ability. It's easier than tracking the different level bonuses of each paint, and perhaps then the bonuses bump up like the Ranger's Favored Enemy bonus.

To 2 of Thomas' points, it's not a 'hoodlum' the class is emulating, I think the OP was going for a Western-flick feel w/ some of the Class Abilities. I think that the lack of alignment restrictions is fine, base classes should not have them except in obvious cases (paladin, monk, anti-paladin, e.g.) And I think the 'no shields' but Medium armor is a good point- maybe light armor only if the OP does want to base it off of Native American culture (very few shields.) Perhaps add "primitive" weapons like the blowgun, darts, and spears?

And if you really want to spark interest, how about allowing a gunslinger-variant, once you get the base class settled?

Just a few thoughts, hope you find them useful.

Very inspiring thoughts and ideas, B.A.! I will consider them all when I reformat and resubmit. A gun archetype or variant is very appropriate.


Arcanemuses, just wanted to drop in and say thankyou for your thread! You Medicine Brave was a great inspiration for my Tribal Champion (Bbn/Rgr) MultiClass Archetype. At times I plumb the messageboards for inspiration, and yours happened to be one of them. Just wanted to give kudos.


Elghinn Lightbringer wrote:
Arcanemuses, just wanted to drop in and say thankyou for your thread! You Medicine Brave was a great inspiration for my Tribal Champion (Bbn/Rgr) MultiClass Archetype. At times I plumb the messageboards for inspiration, and yours happened to be one of them. Just wanted to give kudos.

I congratulate you on a job well done, Lightbringer, and I am honored to have inspired your archetype. And what a fine archetype it is! I have many an unfinished, unpolished idea in my threads that others are welcome to run with or be inspired by. And credit is always appreciated. What I like most about your Tribal Champion is the alchemy-like mechanic you applied to warpaint. I like it all, and thank you.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The overall class design has so many exceptions and oddball things to it, balance is a real issue here.

I really think that this can go better as split into two distinct archetypes.

1. One for a Barbarian who doesn't dump on Int and Wisdom. (The Roy Greenhilt of Barbarians? :)

2. One for a druidic archetype somewhere along the Shaman route. Although I think a Shaman as it is could serve many of these roles.


LazarX wrote:

The overall class design has so many exceptions and oddball things to it, balance is a real issue here.

I really think that this can go better as split into two distinct archetypes.

1. One for a Barbarian who doesn't dump on Int and Wisdom. (The Roy Greenhilt of Barbarians? :)

2. One for a druidic archetype somewhere along the Shaman route. Although I think a Shaman as it is could serve many of these roles.

Thanks for the suggestions, LazarX. But I presently have no plans of resurrecting this idea. Others are more than welcome to cherry-pick from it if they wish. Thanks.


Dot. Also Spoilers and Google Docs are your Friend.


Arcanemuses wrote:
Elghinn Lightbringer wrote:
Arcanemuses, just wanted to drop in and say thankyou for your thread! You Medicine Brave was a great inspiration for my Tribal Champion (Bbn/Rgr) MultiClass Archetype. At times I plumb the messageboards for inspiration, and yours happened to be one of them. Just wanted to give kudos.
I congratulate you on a job well done, Lightbringer, and I am honored to have inspired your archetype. And what a fine archetype it is! I have many an unfinished, unpolished idea in my threads that others are welcome to run with or be inspired by. And credit is always appreciated. What I like most about your Tribal Champion is the alchemy-like mechanic you applied to warpaint. I like it all, and thank you.

I and my MultiClass Archetypes partners all try to use mechanics already utilized by Pathfinder, and tweak them as we need to. I think I'll take a look at some of your other threads and see what other great ideas I can scavenge. The reverse goes for us with the MCA Wiki. You are welcome to adapt things as you feel.

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